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ACOSS publications inform public debate about ACOSS policy issues, document ACOSS research and influence Government on policy. Many ACOSS publications are developed in partnership with other organisations

Submission to Social Security Legislation Amendment (Stronger Penalties for Serious Failures) BIll

23 July 2014

This short submission shows that, while we support a fair complaince system, we have always regarded the eight week penalty as harsh.

Submission to Senate Inquiry into Private Health Insurance Amendment (GP Services) Bill

23 July 2014

This is a short letter-form submission that outlines ACOSS' position on this bill. This position, briefly, is that ACOSS supports a universal healthcare system that attempts to eliminate the current social gradient of health. The proposed Bill, however, would have the effect of widening rather than reducing existing inequities in health.

A Budget that divides the nation: ACOSS 2014-15 Budget Analysis

22 May 2014

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:

  1. Employment services
  2. Working-age payments
  3. Family payments
  4. Retirement incomes
  5. Health
  6. Education and Early Childhood Services
  7. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs
  8. Community Services

Submission to the Inquiry Into the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (Repeal)

4 May 2014

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.

Submission to Inquiry into the Health Insurance Amendment (Extended Medicare Safety Net) Bill 2014

30 April 2014

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.

Social Security Trends: Policy snapshot, April 2014

14 April 2014

The snapshot counters the argument that there is a ‘blowout’ in the number of people on welfare. It provides information about changes in the number of people who rely on social security payments, and about past and future budget expenditure on social security payments and services.

Click here for an HTML version of this paper (note: this version does not work in Internet Explorer)

ACOSS Submission on Minimum Wage 2014

31 March 2014

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[1].

 Our interest in minimum wages stems from their impact on people at risk of poverty and disadvantage in Australia:

  1. through their direct effect on the disposable incomes of people in low paid work and their families;
  2. through their indirect effect on the adequacy of social security payments;
  3. through their effect on employment; and
  4. through their effect on people’s future retirement incomes.

Preventing shocks and addressing energy poverty: an ACOSS discussion paper

31 March 2014

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.

Submission to Senate Economics References Committee Inquiry into Affordable Housing

27 March 2014

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 funding certainty brief

26 March 2014

The Terms of Reference of the Commission of Audit state that it “has a broad remit to examine the scope for efficiency and productivity improvements across all areas of Commonwealth expenditure.” ACOSS has called for people experiencing poverty and inequality be protected from the impact of any consequent cuts. However the implications of funding uncertainty extend throughout the sector - they affect the provision of services to clients; they are crucial for paid staff; and they affect the overall viability of community organisations.