ACOSS launches tax policy to underpin strong future for services and income support

Monday April 15: The Australian Council of Social Service today launched its tax reform election policy, calling for serious tax reform, starting with an end to tax loopholes for the wealthy in order to fund investment in our essential services and income support system. Read more


Election 2019: Healthy, inclusive, thriving communities need quality, secure community services

Friday 12 April: The Australian Council of Social Service is today launching its Federal Election 2019 Policy Platform: Community Services, calling on all parties to properly resource community services, and build a policy framework that ensures those services are high quality. Read more

Federal Election 2019: What is the contest the country needs?

In response to the announcement of the Federal Election for May 18, the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) has called on both major parties to focus on improving the wellbeing of the community, particularly people who are struggling on lower incomes, so that everyone in Australia can live a fulfilling life.  Read more

ACOSS welcomes Labor’s commitment to funding services over high-end tax cuts but people on Newstart again left behind

ACOSS welcomes the Opposition’s commitment tonight to give priority to funding essential services over big tax cuts for people on higher incomes but remains deeply concerned about people on Newstart again being left behind. Read more


Budget 2019: Government turns its back on people who have the least, and guarantees more cuts to essential services

‘’The Government confirms its vision for our country is cuts, tax cuts for people who don’t need them, guaranteeing more cuts in future to essential services and our safety net for people who rely on them,’’ ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said tonight in response to the 2019 Budget…The overall package gives the most dollars to people who already have the most, and offers people on the lowest incomes nothing. Read more


Analysis – Bringing forward the government’s tax cuts in budget would worsen inequality

New analysis by ACOSS shows that if speculation about income tax cuts rings true in the budget the biggest winners will be those on high incomes, while there will be little or no benefit for households with the lowest 40% of incomes. In fact, one third of households have incomes too low to pay income tax.*
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Morrison Government excludes people on lowest incomes from one-off energy payment

The Morrison Government’s pre-budget announcement a one-off Energy Assistance Payment — $75 for singles and $125 for couples — excludes people on the lowest incomes, those who are looking for paid work on Newstart. “The Morrison Government is ignoring the people who are doing it the hardest,” ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said. Read more

Who’s afraid of advocacy? 

Jonathon Hunyor and Cassandra Goldie 

Advocacy by independent groups in civil society is vital to a healthy democracy and makes for better government decisions and outcomes. Civil society plays a vital role in ensuring a more diverse range of voices are heard and the interests of those who may otherwise be excluded or marginalised are represented. Read more

Open letter from the Community Sector

Don’t rush to pass more tax cuts while three million live in poverty 
As community organisations providing essential services to people on low and modest incomes, we call on the Parliament not to rush to pass more income tax cuts before the elections, and to reverse those already legislated to go to high income-earners after 2020. Read more

Townsville City Council endorses increase to Newstart and ACOSS calls on federal politicians to follow suit

Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) congratulates Townsville Council for officially endorsing the ‘Raise the Rate’ campaign, a national campaign, which calls on the Federal Government and Opposition to raise the rate of Newstart. Read more

ACOSS responds to Labor’s living wage policy, calling for it to be partnered with an increase to Newstart

The federal Opposition’s living wage policy, announced today, is a sensible step, which must be partnered with an increase to Newstart in order to effectively reduce poverty and boost the economy. Read more

ACOSS welcomes commitment to overdue reform of Employment Services (jobactive) but warns against over-reliance on automation and digital platforms

The Australian Council of Social Service welcomes the Government’s commitment today to overdue reforms to employment services (Jobactive), but warns there are also risks in what is being proposed.

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Universal dental care more important, less expensive, than tax cuts

The Australian Council of Social Service is firmly opposed to more tax cuts in the upcoming budget, instead calling on government to invest in strengthening our income support system and delivering quality services, including dental care. Read more

Not the time for more tax cuts: time to boost Newstart and minimum wages

Unlike tax cuts, raising Newstart and the minimum wage will effectively reduce poverty and boost the economy, argues The Australian Council of Social Service’s submission to the Fair Work Commission. 
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Energy efficiency not new coal

ACOSS calls on the Federal Government to reject calls for building new coal-fired power stations, which are expensive and contribute to dangerous climate change, and to instead invest in energy efficiency. Read more

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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ACOSS budget submission calls for revenue raising to fund services, including disability services; urges action on Royal Commission

On the release of its budget submission today, the Australian Council of Social Service is urging the federal government to urgently act on calls for a Royal Commission into the abuse suffered by people with disability. ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said: “We’ve heard appalling stories about exploitation, neglect, violence and abuse suffered by people with a disability and the urgent need for a Royal Commission is clear.

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

Robodebt taken to Court over dodgy debts, reconfirming it needs to go

The Australian Council of Social Service welcomes the landmark case launched by Victoria Legal Aid in the Federal Court, challenging the disastrous Centrelink  automated debt recovery system, Robodebt.

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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

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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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

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

Fill the gaps in our health system through smarter, fairer investment and tackling inequalities 

The Australian Council of Social Service is today launching its health policy for the upcoming Federal Election, calling on all parties to commit to make our health system fairer and more sustainable, and to tackling poverty and inequality. Read more

National Congress, APO NT, ACOSS, NTCOSS and Human Rights Law Centre respond to Government plan to force cashless debit card across the Northern Territory

National Congress, APO NT, ACOSS, NTCOSS and Human Rights Law Centre condemn the Morrison Government’s announcement today that it will force people in the Northern Territory under income management to use the cashless debit card, saying it will continue discrimination against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Read more.

7 out of 10 Tasmanians living outside Hobart believe Newstart should be increased

Research by Per Capita shows that 54% of people living in Hobart and 70% of people living in the rest of Tasmania support a $75-per-week increase to Newstart, the payment for people looking for paid work. 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: