21 October 2022
Next week’s budget, the first for this Government, is an opportunity for them to set the course as a government willing to make the right decisions to “leave no one behind, no one held back”.
Australia can be a country where everyone can live a good life, with their wellbeing at the core of government decisions. But people in Australia have faced a perfect storm of challenges beyond what anyone could have imagined. From persistent poverty, gaps in essential care services, a rapidly heating world, extreme weather events, and surging housing costs.
After substantial and enduring under-investment in critical areas of government service, ACOSS is today outlining six priority areas we will be looking to see in the October Budget as well as immediate revenue raising measures to fund them.
With these measures we can reduce poverty and inequality while managing the economy responsibly:
- Lift income supports so everyone can cover the basics
- To at least $73 a day, including JobSeeker, Youth Allowance and Parenting Payment and deliver an increase in the October budget to address the severe crisis facing people on these income support payments.
- Invest in quality community services for people when they need care the most
- Apply an immediate 5.5% indexation for community sector organisation government grants to ensure they can afford to deliver the critical services for those most in need whilst paying their staff fairly.
- Invest in housing that is secure and affordable for all
- By constructing of 25,000 new social and affordable housing dwellings per annum and lifting Commonwealth Rent Assistance by 50%
- Take fair, fast and inclusive climate action
- By providing emergency debt relief to people in energy hardship and investing in energy efficiency and solar retrofits for low-income homes.
- Build thriving, climate resilient communities
- Increase the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment from $1,000 to $3,000, and from $400 per child to $1,000 per child and the amount and duration of Disaster Recovery Allowance to $73 a day, indexed to wages.
- Commit to reach and sustain Full Employment
- Invest in a flexible Jobs and Training Offer for people unemployed long-term.
ACOSS CEO, Dr Cassandra Goldie said:
“As one of the wealthiest nations in the world, the government can and should raise the revenue needed to meet the challenges people are facing.
“First steps include ensuring people have enough income to cover the basics, secure housing and that community services can provide the essential care when people need it most is the right thing to do.
“The Government must also reverse the stage three tax cuts which go mainly to men with incomes of $200,000 or more while over 3 million people are living in poverty.”
Read ACOSS’s full budget priorities here