MYEFO: another fairness failure by the Morrison Government

ACOSS says the Morrison Government’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook fails to share Australia’s prosperity with those who are living in poverty and, despite welcome investment in aged care, fails to secure essential services into the future. “The Budget update is yet another fairness failure from the Morrison Government. Instead of strengthening revenue and plugging the most urgent gaps in the social safety net – like lifting Newstart – it locks in slated social security cuts and legislated tax cuts for the top 20% of earners,” said Dr Cassandra Goldie, ACOSS CEO.

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ACOSS urges Labor to improve disgracefully inadequate Newstart motion at ALP Conference – people cannot keep waiting in poverty for a review

A motion from the ALP Conference yesterday failed to commit to an increase, instead promising only a review, but debate continues today with a vote expected this afternoon. ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said: “We cannot continue to keep people waiting in poverty any longer for a review and the evidence is already in.” 

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Labor’s housing package is a historic commitment towards reducing inequality

ACOSS welcomes Labor’s commitment on affordable housing today and offers to work with Labor, if elected, to ensure that the package delivers for those struggling the most financially. “The cost of housing is crippling low-income people with many being forced into homelessness,” ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said.

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ACOSS calls for fundamental reform of employment services on release of expert review of jobactive

14 December 2018: The Future Employment Services report, released today, recommends major reforms to the jobactive system, which currently burdens people with unnecessary, ineffective compliance and ignores realities of the job market.

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Let’s lift our Newstart underclass out of poverty

by Cassandra Goldie, The Age, Friday December 14, 2018. With the government releasing its mid-year budget on Monday, during the Labor Party’s national conference, both of the major parties have ideal opportunities to kick off the week by committing to a long-overdue, widely supported piece of reform. Newstart, the payment for people looking for paid work, has not been increased in real terms in a quarter of a century. In that time, the cost of living has gone up dramatically. Just think of the cost of housing 20 years ago. Over that time, Australia’s prosperity has grown to the point where we now have the highest median wealth in the world.

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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

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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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

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: http://bit.ly/2NWzn0U

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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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

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

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

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