Let’s tackle child poverty in Australia

Child poverty was reduced by 30 per cent before. It can be done again.

ACOSS has marked the beginning of Anti-Poverty Week with a renewed call for government to stop attacking Australia’s social safety net, and the people who need it; and to focus instead on reducing child poverty in Australia as has been done before.

At our Press Conference on Sunday 15 October, we honoured the Hawke government’s legacy of reducing child poverty by a massive 30 per cent, while shining a light on the increasing child poverty today.

Read the ACOSS briefing on child poverty in Australia

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COSS Network urges a Yes Vote for Marriage Equality

The National COSS Network has today collectively renewed our call for the Australian community to deliver a Yes vote in support of marriage equality. We bring this joint statement at this point as a final push to encourage a yes vote and to urge people to post their votes. The COSS CEOs said: “Each day, people directly affected by the denial of the human right to marry the person you love, are forced to keep sharing their intimate stories of pain, distress, love and hope. We will continue to do so as we build the unstoppable force for change.”

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New figures are a wake-up call to government

Almost two-thirds of low-income households in Australia experienced financial stress in 2015/16, with half of households reliant on income support payments reporting four or more financial stress indicators. Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO of ACOSS said the latest Household Expenditure Survey figures released yesterday by the ABS are a wake-up call to government to increase inadequate income support payments.

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Strengthen the social safety net and stop tearing it apart 

Stop the cuts to income support, and stop demonising the very people our social safety net is designed to support.

We are calling on Federal Government to strengthen the social safety net for people who have the least in Australia. Stop tearing it apart. Join us and sign the petition. 

Federal government wants to make nine more cuts to the incomes of people living with severe hardship. There are already 3 million people living in poverty in Australia. Horrifically, 731,000 are children. We don’t want more people falling into poverty.

Sign the petition today

Read the statement that has been signed by over 40 community organisations

Strengthening the Medicare Levy to secure the future of the NDIS

Health is an essential service. This paper argues that the NDIS and health care services need a dependable revenue source sot hat they are there when needed. Four tests are proposed to assess the various revenue proposals; and these tests are applied to six options, including those from the Government, Labor and Greens.

Read the full paper

The cost of living a decent life: new report highlights the inadequacies of income support for low-paid and unemployed Australians

The Newstart Allowance received by people looking for work falls well below the minimum income required to achieve a basic standard of living – defined as a budget standard – according to a new report by researchers from UNSW Sydney.

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Drug testing of income support recipients

Read our latest submissions: 

Energy Retailers can act to help relieve energy stress and drop electricity prices

Ahead of their meeting with the Prime Minister tomorrow, ACOSS joins other organisations to call for urgent action from energy retailers to help reduce high electricity costs, which are pushing low-income and disadvantaged households over the edge.

ACOSS CEO, Dr Cassandra Goldie, said: “ACOSS is deeply concerned about the impacts of increasingly high prices on people who are disadvantaged and living on low incomes. The price of electricity has increased by 114% over the past decade, leaving many people having to choose between paying high bills and buying enough food to feed their family. ”

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Marriage equality

COSS urges the Australian Parliament to deliver a free vote on marriage equality and to vote yes. ACOSS also applauds all those across Australian society who continue to campaign for marriage equality through a parliamentary vote.

ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said: “Each day, people directly affected by the denial of the human right to marry the person you love, are forced to keep sharing their intimate stories of pain, distress, love and hope. We will continue to do so as we build the unstoppable force for change.”

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Child poverty crisis hits single parent families

The Melbourne Institute’s HILDA report released today shows child poverty in single parent families has reached a crisis level, rising from 18% to 23% in the two years since social security for sole parents was cut in 2013. The causes of rising child poverty in single parent families include inadequate and frozen family payments, lack of decently-paid jobs, unaffordable childcare and low home ownership. “The increase in child poverty is a reality that our political leaders have known about and yet continue to make worse”, says Dr Cassandra Goldie, ACOSS CEO. “We can end child poverty if governments have the will to make the necessary reforms.

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Put people first to deliver affordable, reliable and clean energy

A new report calls on the Australian Government to put people first and end the deadlock on energy transition to ensure people on low-income and experiencing disadvantage have access to affordable, reliable and clean energy into the future. The report Empowering disadvantaged households to access affordable, clean energy was produced by the Australian Council of Social Service, Brotherhood of St Laurence and The Climate Institute after consulting with over 120 community, environment and energy experts across Australia from March – June 2017.

Read media release  |  Read report

ACOSS rejects latest Govt attempt to cut incomes of people living in poverty

ACOSS will call on Parliament to again reject cutting the Energy Supplement at a Senate hearing being held in Melbourne, along with a number of other civil society groups. Dr Cassandra Goldie says removing the energy supplement is cutting the incomes of Australia’s most disadvantaged people. “We cannot fathom why Government persists in trying to cut the incomes of people who have the least,” says Dr Goldie. “If this Bill goes through, 1.7 million people on the lowest incomes will be worse off, including those paying for accommodation, food, travel costs and day-to-day bills while living on just $38 a day.”

Read media release  |  Read our submission on the proposed removal of the Energy Supplement

A call for Parliament to deliver secure, sustainable and sufficient funding for the NDIS

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’.

Read full letter here

Budget analysis 2017


Revenue analysis Social security analysis Housing analysis Essential services analysis
Revenue Social security Housing Essential services


Read our analysis of the 2017 Federal Budget.

Inequality in Australia: watch and share the video!