Register now for the ACOSS conference & HESTA community awards dinner

Registrations are now open for the ACOSS conference on the 18-19 November and the HESTA community awards dinner on the first night of the conference, 19 November. Find out more and register here.

Unemployed and pensioners “collateral damage” in budget fight

ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said the budget fight looming at the start 45th Parliament threatens to hurt those on the lowest incomes.

“The Government has announced this week that the first order of business for the new Parliament will be to cut the Newstart Allowance, pensions and family payments through removal of the energy supplement,” said Dr Goldie.

ACOSS, Australian Unemployed Workers’ Union, Australian Youth Affairs Coalition, Carers Australia, Jobs Australia, National Council of Single Mothers and their Children, National Welfare Rights Network, People with Disability, and Welfare Rights Centre have jointly written to both the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition calling on them to retain the energy supplement.

Read the letter to the Prime Minister and the letter to the Leader of the Opposition.

Read full media release

Royal Commission must examine Nauru abuse

Australia’s peak body for aid and international development, the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), and peak body for social welfare, the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) have  called for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to urgently examine incidents of child abuse and harm in the Australian-run immigration detention centre on Nauru. “Today the Guardian Australia published 2,000 leaked incident reports that are shocking in their detail and the horrifying level of abuse of asylum seekers on Nauru they revealed,” said ACFID CEO Marc Purcell. We have a Royal Commission tasked with investigating institutional responses to child sexual abuse. In the face of the extraordinary evidence of such abuse and harassment of children in immigration detention in Nauru there must be an investigation into whether this is an explicit breach of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s duty of care.”

Read full media release

ACOSS supports Royal Commission into juvenile detention

The Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) supports a Royal Commission into juvenile detention. ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said the treatment of young detainees in the Northern Territory revealed on Four Corners last night was horrific. “Immediate steps need to be taken to get to the bottom of what happened and ensure it never happens again. The abuse of children is abhorrent and this case was particularly disturbing given it occurred when they were in the custody of the Northern Territory Government.”

Read full media release

ACOSS welcomes second Turnbull Government, calls for consensus approach to Budget policy

Read full media release

Election 2016: Plans for Growth, but no Coalition plans for sharing it

ACOSS has published the responses from the major Parties in the 2016 Federal Election to important questions about their plans to reduce poverty and inequality while growing the economy. “People are concerned about housing affordability, finding secure work, accessing affordable health care and getting a quality education for their children. They are also aware of the risks of global warming and worry about whether they will be able to cope financially if they lose their jobs, retire, or have to survive on low or insecure wages.” said Dr Cassandra Goldie, ACOSS CEO.

ACOSS welcomes Labor’s ‘Future Jobs’ program announcement

ACOSS welcomes Labor’s proposal today to establish a ‘Future Jobs’ program for long term unemployed young people, if elected. While the program would reach a smaller number of unemployed people than the Coalition’s Youth Jobs PaTH scheme (20,000 a year instead of 30,000), it has two important advantages: unemployed people undertaking job placements would be paid a training wage and they would have access to recognised vocational training. Both parties have now acknowledged how tough it is for people who are unemployed long term to get a foot in the door in today’s job market, and taken significant steps away from the discredited ‘Work for the Dole’ approach towards real work experience combined with training.

See ACOSS’ analysis of the Coalition’s Youth PaTH program

ACOSS calls on Coalition to retreat from Budget measures that hurt people in poverty

ACOSS has called on the Coalition to retreat from pursing the so-called ‘Zombie’ and other Federal budget policy measures that would reduce incomes to adults and children at risk of or already living in poverty. “Casting a shadow over this year’s federal election campaign are $18 billion dollars of ‘zombie’ Budget measures, including payment cuts from the controversial 2014 Federal Budget that hit people on low incomes in Australia” said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie. “Also hanging over the heads of low-income households are $1.4 billion in proposed cuts to Energy Supplement payments to people claiming pensions, allowances and family payments announced in the 2016 Budget.

Read the full media release:

ALP commitment to partner with community sector welcome

The Australian Council of Social Service has today welcomed the release of the ALP’s ‘Plan for a Strong, Vibrant and Sustainable Community Sector’ which rightly recognises the community and not-for-profit sector’s critical role in designing good policy and delivering essential services to communities. “This policy contains a series of welcome measures which would help the community sector get on with the job of supporting and advocating on behalf of Australia’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged communities,” said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.

Read the full media release here:

Seniors and community groups urge PM to hold firm on superannuation 

Australia’s peak seniors and community sector organisations urged the Prime Minister to stand firm on the Government’s commitment to deliver the fairer superannuation system announced in the 2016 Budget. The nation’s seniors peak body, COTA Australia, and the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) signed a joint letter to the Prime Minister, concerned that good policy was under threat from pressure being applied by a small number of adversely effected individuals. COTA recently surveyed its membership Election Panel and 87% agreed that ‘the current tax concessions on superannuation contribution favour the well-off’.

Read the full media release here:

ACOSS Budget Analysis 2016

We have released an in-depth analysis of the Federal Budget, which was handed down several weeks ago.

The main conclusion drawn from this analysis is that the impacts of this Budget will further disadvantage people who are already experiencing disadvantage in Australia.

Read the analysis here.

 Inequality in Australia: watch and share the video!

A nation splintering amid growing inequality: ACOSS report

ACOSS today urged Australian governments to make addressing growing inequality a top policy priority following its new report revealing that income and wealth has become more concentrated in the hands of fewer people over the past two decades across the country.

Releasing its analysis, Inequality in Australia: A nation divided, ACOSS says that while inequality is not extreme in Australia by international comparison, we are trending in the wrong direction.

Read Full Statement here and more information here.