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$200 payment welcome but abandons those with the very least

The Australian Council of Social Service has welcomed the new $200 per week disaster payment for people in lockdown on social security payments who have lost at least 8 hours of paid work but expressed alarm that the Federal Government has again abandoned those with the very least – those who had less paid work or none prior to the lockdown. Read more.

With Sydney lockdown to be extended, Federal Government must urgently heed NSW Treasurer’s call to help those with the least

With the Greater Sydney lockdown expected to be extended for another month today, ACOSS is again urging the Federal Government to extend the lockdown Disaster Payments to lift incomes for all without paid work to at least $600 per week, including those with the least – people trying to get by on social security payments or with no social security at all.

As the NSW Treasurer has written in The Daily Telegraph today: “First, the Disaster Payment excludes people who are receiving other forms of Commonwealth assistance. It shouldn’t.” Read more.

Tax cuts and housing tax breaks are a Budget Booby Trap

ACOSS today condemned the Federal Government and Labor Opposition’s mutual commitment to high-end tax cuts and regressive tax breaks for housing. Read more.

Public back smart energy reform to support future solar growth fairly

New research finds strong public backing for proposed energy rule change that will require smart investment in electricity networks to support the growth of rooftop solar, continue to reward solar customers and will reduce bills for people on low incomes, renters and those in apartments. Read more. 

Report shows dramatic increase in financial distress in lockdowns & demand for help from charity emergency relief services

Online searches for emergency relief services have sky-rocketed following lockdowns in NSW and Victoria, finds a report by the Australian Council of Social Service, released today.  Read more.

Voices from Lockdown: New Report reveals the gruelling reality for people with least locked out from Federal Government disaster payments

People in lockdown struggling to get by below the poverty line have shared the gruelling experience in a report by the Australian Council of S‎ocial Service, released today. ‎
‎People in lockdown on the lowest incomes, those on social security payments below the poverty line, are being excluded from the Federal Government’s COVID Disaster Payments, although they have lost part-time paid work or are prevented from getting work.‎ Read more.

Now over one million people in lockdown on lowest incomes excluded from COVID payment support

With lockdowns now in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, over one million people, including hundreds of thousands of children, are excluded from the Federal Government’s COVID Disaster Payments because they are on a social security payment, even though many have lost part-time paid work. Read more.

New COVID restrictions hit lowest income workers hardest – local leaders call for action

The Community Sector is extremely concerned for the welfare of about 800,000 lowest income people at risk of financial hardship in lockdown areas in Greater Sydney and Victoria especially those registered with Centrelink for social security payments who can’t access the Disaster payment and those with no income support at all including asylum seekers. “The NSW Government’s immediate action to shut-down non-critical workplaces in the local government areas of Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool, although understandable, will cause severe financial hardship on workers and families already vulnerable to the pandemic’s negative economic impacts,” said Settlement Services International (SSI) CEO Violet Roumeliotis. More

National Cabinet fails 800,000 in the cold

National Cabinet has failed to address the gaping hole in the Disaster Payment system that is leaving hundreds of thousands of people on the lowest incomes in lockdown on totally inadequate payments. “People rely on social security to supplement their part-time or casual work and that paid work has disappeared overnight. It is heartless that they are barred from accessing Disaster Payments when their colleagues can,” said CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie. Read more

Federal Parliament must work together on Climate Change Legislation

ACOSS is disappointed to see that a Government-led Committee Report has not backed a climate change bill to reduce emissions and improve resilience to impacts, despite support for the bill across business, social, finance, health and environment sectors. CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said “The climate crisis is causing immediate and accelerated damage to people’s homes, livelihoods, health, quality of life, employment, and cost of living, and is increasing risks and burdens for future generations.

Lockdown support excludes those on the lowest incomes

The lockdown support package announced today by the Federal and NSW governments excludes people on the lowest incomes: people receiving JobSeeker, Youth Allowance and other payments even though so many are locked out of trying to find paid work in lockdown. JobSeeker is just $315pw and Youth Allowance is just $256pw. Read more.

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