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2021 Federal Budget Analysis & Media Releases

ALP Budget reply a promising start but more needed to tackle poverty and inequality

ACOSS welcomes the ALP commitments on housing and climate but more detail is needed on how they plan to alleviate poverty and reduce inequality.

Dr Goldie said “We welcome the commitment to leave no one behind. However, to reduce structural inequality Labor must commit to raising social security payments above the poverty line, including JobSeeker, which is now a brutal $44 per day. Leaving about 2 million people and 1 million children unable to pay rent, eat three meals, look for a job, is the definition of leaving someone behind. We also need to provide economic security and dignity for all including migrants, people on temporary visas and asylum seekers. Read more

Federal Budget: ACOSS preliminary analysis and briefing

Australian Council of Social Service CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said: “After years of austerity, a pandemic and a recession, this budget provides much-needed funding to finally start fixing some of the gaping holes in our aged care, childcare, mental health, and domestic violence services. However, this budget misses the opportunity to deliver the change we need to reduce inequality and poverty, act on climate change and make the investments in crucial areas to support communities to rebuild from crisis, like social housing.” Read more

Federal Budget lifts essential services but leaves too many people stranded

After years of austerity, a pandemic and a recession, the Federal Budget provides much-needed investment in crucial community services but leaves many behind in crisis, including women on low incomes and people who are unemployed, says the Australian Council of Social Service. Read more.

Comment on the housing and homelessness Budget measures announced today

ACOSS welcomes the announcement of guaranteed equal pay funding for homelessness services.

ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said: “ACOSS warmly welcomes this funding commitment for homelessness services. It was needed to secure over 500 jobs, overwhelmingly for women, in the homelessness sector. Read more.

Women on low incomes must not be left behind – ACOSS Pre-Budget Brief

Women on low incomes must not be left behind in the Federal Budget, especially as our current tax, income support and superannuation systems work against them, says the Australian Council of Social Service.

ACOSS is today releasing a Pre-Budget Brief that shows how women’s economic security has been undermined by government decisions, including decisions to focus job generation in male-dominated industries and cut social security whilst delivering big tax cuts. Read more.

Natural disaster resilience funding must also focus on communities and people most at risk

ACOSS welcomes the establishment of the new National Recovery and Resilience Agency and urges the Government to ensure funding is also allocated to support people most at risk of natural disasters.

ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said: “The establishment of a National Recovery and Resilience Agency is necessary to enable Australia to better deal with more frequent and intense extreme weather being fueled by the climate crisis. Read more.

Federal Government’s childcare package a welcome step in the right direction

The Federal Government’s childcare package announced today is a welcome boost to funding for early childhood education and care for families who have a second or third child in childcare. Read more.

Budget must provide energy hardship support, as winter approaches

Ahead of the May budget, ACOSS is calling on the Federal Government to provide financial support to people on low incomes in energy hardship made worse by COVID-19.
The number of customers in energy debt increased 32% to over 170,000 in 12 months to December 2020, with the average debt rising by 27% to $1,008. Debt is likely to get worse over the coming months. Income support payments have been cut, rents have gone up, eviction moratoriums have ended, at the same time as energy debt deferral safeguards begin to end. Read more.

Government commitment to reduce unemployment welcome but must focus on under-employment & long-term unemployment, demonisation must stop

More women caught in ‘tsunami of need’

The Australian Council of Social Service has called for an increase in JobSeeker, domestic violence crisis payments, rent assistance and increased investment in ­social housing after research ­revealed some women escaping domestic violence are waiting for support for up to six months.

The University of NSW study, commissioned by ACOSS and the Councils of Social Service has found a huge spike in demand for services that assist with economic hardship, homelessness, mental health and domestic violence. Read more.

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