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 full media release

Read our submission on the proposed removal of the Energy Supplement

Submission on the proposed removal of the Energy Supplement

ACOSS strongly opposes the proposal to abolish the Energy Supplement, an action which would remove almost $1 bn from our social security system, and which would cut payments to people who are living on an inadequate $31 a day. Single parents, pensioners and carers stand to lose between $4 and $7 a week if the Energy Supplement is removed.

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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.

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

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’.

Read full letter here

Pull the plug – Twelve months of robodebt is enough

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.

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We need paid work. Let’s reframe the debate on Social Security

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.

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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.”

Read full release here

Government tries to slash incomes of poorest – again

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.

Read full release 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.

Budget 2017: a welcome change of tack, but vilification of people who are unemployed continues

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.

Read the entire release here

What welfare blow-out? Stop vilification of people who are unemployed

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.

Read full release here

Read Snapshot here

Housing Australia’s people: a serious plan

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.

Read full release here

Centrelink Inquiry

Visit our Centrelink ‘RoboDebt’ Inquiry webpage at:

RoboDebt must go: Community sector calls for end of Centrelink’s auto debt recovery program and the bullying of victims

A consortium of leading organisations from Australia’s community sector is calling on the government to immediately pull the plug on Centrelink’s RoboDebt, cease the intimidation and bullying of Centrelink clients and their families caught up in the automated debt recovery debacle, and provide a commitment that people’s protected information will not be publicly released.

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.

Read full media release and view list of organisations 

Read ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie’s opening statement to the Centrelink Inquiry

We can reduce poverty, inequality and the budget deficit: ACOSS Budget Submission 2017

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.

Read more here

Child poverty on the rise

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.

Read the full media release | Read the report

Inequality in Australia: watch and share the video!