Philanthropic boost to raise the rate

The Australian Council of Social Service is delighted to announce that it has obtained significant philanthropic funding to dramatically boost the ongoing “Raise the Rate” campaign aimed at increasing the rate of Newstart, Youth Allowance and other related payments. 

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Australian First: Cross Party Support for Raising Newstart 

Both of the major parties in South Australia have agreed that Newstart is “far too low” and have called on the Federal Government to make an urgent increase, in the interim report of a Parliamentary Inquiry into poverty, released today.

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Community sector condemns social security cuts for migrants

The Australian Council of Social Service has today condemned the Parliament’s decision to cut $1.2 billion from social security for recent migrants. “This decision will hurt people and their children trying to build a life in Australia. Our social security system should be built on equality,” said Dr Cassandra Goldie, ACOSS CEO. Read more

ACOSS calls on the Senate to reject social security cuts for migrants

ACOSS, along with the community sector, has called on the Senate to do the right thing and vote against the bill to make migrants wait up to four years to access social security.   There is no justification for cutting off support for people, including children, who are in financial need. Read more

From Kerryn to Derryn, Bob to Bandt – entire lower house crossbench and key senate crossbenchers support increase to Newstart 
ACOSS can confirm that all of the crossbenchers of the Lower House of federal Parliament and key Senate crossbenchers now support an increase to Newstart. “When Adam Bandt, Cathy McGowan, Kerryn Phelps, Andrew Wilkie, Rebekha Sharkie, and Bob Katter all agree, it’s time to stop talking and act,” said ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie. Read more


Full employment is a fiction that doesn’t help policy

Opinion piece by ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie, first published in the Australian Financial Review. If you told the average person trying to get a job in Australia that we are close to full employment, they would probably wonder what planet you came from. For every job vacancy, there are eight people looking for a job or more work and twice that if we include people changing jobs. Read more

Welcome words on Newstart but we need action

The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) welcomes the Leader of the Opposition’s clear acknowledgement today that the rate of Newstart is too low and calls on both the major parties to commit to raising the rate. “We welcome Mr Shorten’s acknowledgement of what has been clear to the community, unions, business and experts for a long time – that $39 a day is not enough to cover the basics of life. We need more than a review,” said ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie. Read more

Read ‘This is the Call‘ , a poem written by Miriam Hechtman for ACOSS

New report shows 3 million Australians living in poverty

A new analysis by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and UNSW Sydney shows national poverty rates remain high despite Australia experiencing decades of uninterrupted economic growth. The Poverty in Australia 2018 Report, finds there are just over 3 million people (13.2%) living below the relative poverty line, including 739,000 children (17.3%). In Australia, the poverty line is defined as a single adult living on less than $433 a week, or $909 for a couple with two children. Read more

Household income spent on energy hits new high for people on low incomes

Householders’ income spent on energy in Australia is surging according to new research commissioned by the Australian Council of Social Service and the Brotherhood of St Laurence. The analysis investigated the costs of electricity and gas for a range of household types in Australia between 2008 and 2018. It found that some of the lowest income households in Australia spend over 10% of their incomes on energy, while some wealthier households spend around 1.5% of their income on energy. Read more

New survey finds jobactive leads unemployed people to anxiety, not jobs

ACOSS has today released the report of a survey of 311 people who participated in jobactive employment services around the country.  ‘’It is absolutely vital that policy makers put people at the centre of policy design. We must listen to experiences of people using jobactive services and design an employment services system that responds to the needs they identify,” said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie. Read more:

We can tackle energy affordability and reduce carbon emissions at the same time, but Energy Intensive Trade Exposed Industries (EITEs) must be included: New Modelling 

New modelling released by ACOSS and the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) finds that an emission reduction policy could drive more rapid emissions reductions in the electricity sector and put downward pressure on energy prices, with the right policy settings.

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Raising Newstart and Youth Allowance would boost jobs, wages and inject millions into local communities

Regional communities would receive a multi-million dollar boost if government raised the rate of Newstart, Youth Allowance and related payments through an increase in consumer spending, a new report by Deloitte has found. Read more

Getting a job on Newstart is harder than you think

A majority of people on Newstart are being systematically excluded from paid employment, a new report has found. Read more

Introducing competition into human services has largely failed to deliver better outcomes for people, and undermined community collaboration, a new report has found.

CHOICE and ACOSS’ research report Competition Policy and Human Services: Where Theory Meets Practice is being released on Thursday 13th September 2018. Read more

ACOSS welcomes move to scrap final ‘zombie’ measure

ACOSS welcomes the government’s announcement to take the last zombie measure – ‘increasing the pension age’ – off the table. Read more

Employment services aren’t working. ACOSS calls for major reform. 

In a major submission to the government’s review of employment services, ACOSS is calling for fundamental reform of Australia’s employment services as the jobactive system is currently failing both employers and people looking for paid work due to inadequate investment and an over-emphasis on social security compliance. Read more

ACOSS Statement following the announcement of a new Prime Minister

ACOSS congratulates the Hon Scott Morrison as the new Prime Minister. We hope this brings an end to a period of instability in government and politics. Read more

Energy supplement safe. Corporate tax cuts defeated. Now the government must raise the rate of Newstart.

ACOSS welcomes the government’s announcement today that it will no longer abolish the energy supplement assisting people on low incomes in Australia. Read more

ACNC legislation review affirms ‘Fix Fundraising’ coalition’s calls for major reform of fundraising

The #FixFundraising coalition welcomes the recommendation tabled in Parliament today to reform fundraising laws through the use of the Australian Consumer Law. Read more

ACOSS urges Government not to abandon emissions reductions

Monday August 20: ACOSS today called on the Government to ignore climate sceptics and work with Labor and the States to implement polices to rapidly reduce emissions in the electricity sector and improve electricity affordability. 

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Raise the Rate

Australia’s social safety net should allow people to afford to put a roof over their head and food on the table. The current rate of Newstart and related allowances does not cover the cost of basic essentials. It’s time to Raise the Rate. 
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While the battle over tax cuts begins, we are losing the war on poverty

In responding to the Opposition Treasurer’s reply speech to the Federal Budget 2018 yesterday, ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said, “While the Opposition has adopted important policies to close tax concessions and strengthen revenue, it has now put these gains at risk by joining the Government in a dangerous personal income tax cut war.” Read more

Community sector presser

Proposed tax cuts damage the Budget, bypass those in greatest hardship, and undermine essential services

ACOSS responded today to the Government’s Budget, pointing out that more tax cuts are the wrong priority at the wrong time, will not help the majority of people on low incomes, and will deprive governments of the ability to fund essential services and restore the budget. Read more

Taking the ‘human’ out of human services

ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said: “We have seen thousands of jobs cut from Centrelink over several years and now this Federal Government is contracting private companies, including Serco to answer calls. It is wrong that a private, multinational corporation is being contracted, and presumably profit from doing the job of Centrelink.” Read more

Keep working on the National Energy Guarantee

With the COAG Energy Council meeting later this week to consider the National Energy Guarantee, ACOSS has joined the call for further progress to be made towards designing a workable solution which addresses emissions reduction, reliability, and affordability across our energy system. Read more

Voters want governments to make energy efficiency a top priority

As Energy Ministers prepare to meet to discuss the National Energy Guarantee, a YouGov Galaxy survey has shown that ‘investing in energy efficiency’ is the most popular policy that governments can introduce. Read more

We’ll all pay for company tax cuts

Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO of ACOSS says “Any economic gains from cutting company taxes are decades away, while the cost of the cuts will be felt immediately, from $1.8 billion in 2019 rising to $14 billion in 2026. Read more

ACOSS submission on the National Energy Guarantee

This submission makes eighteen recommendations to the Energy Security Board, including calling for an independent review to address energy affordability. Read more

Charity Leaders appeal to Senate

“We believe that a company tax cut is a mistake while almost 3 million people live in poverty. It is unconscionable to pursue company tax cuts while refusing to raise the rate of Newstart and other allowances.” Read more

Cuts to support system leave people seeking asylum in destitution

Thousands of people seeking protection while living in the Australian community are at risk of destitution and homelessness due to the latest government move to completely cut income support for people who need it the most. Read more