|Revenue||Social security||Housing||Essential services|
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.
“It is cruel for people affected by unemployment and low incomes to repeatedly wake up to sensational media headlines which accuses them of being ‘dole bludgers, ‘layabouts’, ‘welfare cheats’ or ‘welfare addicts.’’ The vast majority of people are doing everything they can to survive and improve their lives under extremely stressful, difficult circumstances.” said Dr Goldie.
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/
COSS Network reiterates its call for Robodebt to end following damning report from Commonwealth Ombudsman
The Commonwealth Ombudsman has released a damning report into the Federal Government’s automated Centrelink debt recovery program, known as the ‘robodebt’ program, calling for its evaluation before it is expanded. CEO of ACOSS, Dr Cassandra Goldie, with the COSS Network, again called on the government to halt the robodebt program.
“The Government must stop the robodebt program, which, as the Commonwealth Ombudsman has shown in its report on the program released today, has made people vulnerable because of the stress and anxiety it has caused. The report makes clear that this program was poorly designed, communication was “deficient”, and that there are a host of problems with shifting the onus of proof onto people affected”, said Dr Goldie.
ACOSS condemns the company tax deal that will rip $5.2b over the forward estimates from the Federal Budget. This tax cut follows the $4 billion hit to the budget just last year when the Government gave away personal income tax cuts to higher income earners.
It is egregious for the government to pass another unfunded tax cut at the same time it has already cut well over $10b from social security and still wants to cut at least $7b more, including removing the energy supplement for millions of people on the lowest incomes.
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.