ACOSS Reports & Submissions
Each year ACOSS prepares numerous submissions to the Federal Government. We also undertake research and produce reports on policy areas that impact disadvantaged Australians. The latest ACOSS submissions and topical papers appear below as downloadable links.
Most recent papers
ACOSS recognises that Australia faces a budget challenge in meeting the growing gap between the community’s reasonable expectations of government and available resources to meet those expectations. That is why we have supported the need for a comprehensive review of revenue and expenditure to set the budget on a sustainable path for the future. However, we believe the priority should be to reign in wasteful expenditure, ensure spending is targeted to those who need assistance most and begin necessary reforms to create a sustainable and equitable tax system. While this Inquiry is focused on social security budget measures, it is important that these measures are understood in the broader context of the 2014-15 Federal Budget and its disproportionately adverse impact on low and moderate income households.
ACOSS short letter style submission to this measure explains how the proposed amendment to maintain the Child Care Benefit income thresholds at the June 2014 rates for a further 3 years will have adverse affects on some low and moderate income households.
This short submission shows that, while we support a fair complaince system, we have always regarded the eight week penalty as harsh.
ACOSS' analysis of the Federal Budget for 2014-15. This paper consists of an overview of the budget; a table of who will pay for what measures; the effect of budget decisions on the bottom line, and a detailed analysis of measures in the following key areas:
- Employment services
- Working-age payments
- Family payments
- Retirement incomes
- Education and Early Childhood Services
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs
- Community Services
ACOSS has long advocated for effective regulation of the community sector. ACOSS’ positions around the essential elements of effective national regulation have been the result of significant policy development, consultation with members and engagement with a range of stakeholders over many years. It particularly draws on the contributions provided by the Council of Social Service network which operates across all states and territories in Australia.
ACOSS has deep concerns about the trends in healthcare funding that have seen a move away from universal coverage towards a system of co-payments with associated safety nets to protect vulnerable consumers2. This is an issue that we will explore in greater depth in our response to the Senate Inquiry into Out-of-pocket Costs in Australian Healthcare, but one that needs to be noted in relation to our response to changes to the Extended Medicare Safety Net.
ACOSS has a long standing interest in minimum wages. We have made submissions on minimum wage fixation to industrial tribunals since the mid 1990s. ACOSS is an interested party with expertise in poverty, employment policy and income support policy, rather than an advocate for union or employer positions. We have not advocated specific wage increases in the past, and do not do so in this submission.
The last minimum wage increase awarded by Fair Work Australia (FWA) was a rise of $15.80 per week (a 2.6% increase), bringing the federal minimum wage up to $622.20 from 1 July 2013.
Our interest in minimum wages stems from their impact on people at risk of poverty and disadvantage in Australia:
- through their direct effect on the disposable incomes of people in low paid work and their families;
- through their indirect effect on the adequacy of social security payments;
- through their effect on employment; and
- through their effect on people’s future retirement incomes.
This paper discusses the impacts of energy hardship, before outlining the inconsistencies and inadequacies of the energy concession frameworks in Australia. It outlines recommendations for reform, and potential policy solutions to be pursued so that energy is affordable for everyone in Australia.
A short submission to this inquiry in which ACOSS expresses support for the drive to achieve economic growth through investment in infrastructure, but with the important inclusion of social and community infrastructure. Housing infrastructure is undeniably our most urgent social infrastructure challenge.
ACOSS further submission to the Inquiry into the Commission of Audit, respnoding to questions on notice from hearing, 18 February 2014. This supplementary submission covers concerns about cuts to funding of vital community services and co-payments in the health system.