A win with Disability Support Pension, damning report on robodebt and social security cuts still on government’s agenda
This week in parliament saw the release of a damning Senate Inquiry report on the Centrelink robodebt debacle and the introduction of several pieces of legislation that will cut social security.
We also saw the welcome protection of the Disability Support Pension for people with addiction.
This letter has been sent to the major parties to press them, when parliament resumes, to resolve the issue of secure, sustainable and sufficient long term funding for NDIS in order to prevent it becoming a political football.
To cement the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as a universal system for all Australians, sufficient and sustainable funding must be secured now, while there is strong bipartisan commitment.
The NDIS must not become a ‘political football’.
ACOSS again calls on the Federal Government to immediately end the robodebt program ahead of the release of the Senate Inquiry report today.
“Since its adoption twelve months ago, robodebt has issued thousands of debt notices in error to parents, people with disabilities, carers and those seeking paid work, resulting in people slapped with Centrelink debts they do not owe or debts higher than what they owe” said Dr Cassandra Goldie, ACOSS CEO.
Cassandra Goldie, CEO of ACOSS, says under the government’s proposed demerit system, 80 thousand people are expected to lose between one to four weeks’ payment.
“How is making people destitute helping them to get paid work?” asks Dr Goldie. “Our big problem is the lack of employment opportunities and serious concerns that people are giving up and losing hope, including young people.”
“Long term unemployment has nearly tripled since the Global Financial Crisis. For every job available there are ten applicants. The real issue for government is the availability of paid work and adequate supports including vocational education and training.
Climate change is affecting us now and the future is here: it’s time to finally get Australia on track
ACOSS is calling on governments to use the Finkel Report to now design an energy system that will both reduce shocking energy prices and confidently deliver on our international obligation to reduce carbon pollution and transition to clean energy.
Cassandra Goldie, CEO of ACOSS, says we need an energy supply which is both affordable and secure for everyone and as clean as it can possibly be: “Energy prices must be turned around. Thousands are being disconnected while others are wrapping themselves in blankets to limit their energy consumption. People on low incomes cannot cope, young children and older people are being badly effected.”
The Australian Council of Social Service urges the Parliament to again stand up against the latest attempt by the Turnbull Government to cut the incomes of people who have the very least in the country.
ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said, “The proposal to cut the Energy Supplement will directly hit people already living in poverty by slashing between $4 to $7 per week from people trying to survive on social security payments, including the $38-per-day Newstart Allowance.
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ACOSS welcomes the change of tack to invest in health, education and housing, but the 2014 Budget mindset to demonise and impoverish the most disadvantaged continues.
“The government is trying to put the 2014 horror budget behind it, securing the National Disability Insurance Scheme and putting housing affordability on the agenda but the government still neglects, blames and targets the most disadvantaged in the social security system”, said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.
The Australian Council of Social Service has called for an end to media attacks on people who are unemployed, releasing a short Social Security Snapshot dispelling the myth that we have a ‘welfare blowout’ and that people unemployed are the cause of it.
Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO of ACOSS, says it is time for the Federal Government to tell the Australian community the real story about social security in Australia and prepare a Federal Budget that genuinely helps lift people out of poverty, rather than disadvantage them even further.
ACOSS and National Shelter today released a joint 6 point National Housing Affordability Plan. They have urged the Federal Government not to shirk its lead responsibility to address the housing affordability crisis affecting millions across the country and increasing financial risk to the national economy.
‘The Federal Government must grasp the housing affordability crisis with both hands and put in place the right policies for the future.” said Dr Cassandra Goldie, ACOSS CEO.
Visit our Centrelink ‘RoboDebt’ Inquiry webpage at: http://www.acoss.org.au/centrelink-inquiry/
RoboDebt must go: Community sector calls for end of Centrelink’s auto debt recovery program and the bullying of victims
Spokesperson for the group Cassandra Goldie, CEO of ACOSS, says the Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge must respond to people’s very real concerns about privacy, particularly with the opening of the Senate inquiry into Centrelink and the flawed RoboDebt scheme.
ACOSS has called on the Turnbull Government to throw out harsh proposals that have repeatedly failed to pass Parliament and adopt budget policies that are fair and sustainable.
“After two years of chasing the ill-conceived 2014 Budget cuts, it’s time the Government recast its Budget strategy and moved on from the one-sided focus on spending cuts, particularly in social security,” said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.
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ACOSS today released a new report showing that 731,300 children or 17.4% of all children in Australia are living in poverty, an increase of 2 percentage points over the past 10 years (from 2004-2014).
The report finds that nearly three million people were living in poverty in Australia in 2014, or 13.3% of the general population.
“The overall picture from the last decade is one of persistent and entrenched poverty across the community with an increase in child poverty. It is a national shame that after 25 years of economic growth, we have not done better at changing this trajectory and ensuring our most precious national resource, our children, are given the best possible start in life,” said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.