17 December 2020
The Federal Government’s Mid-Year Economic Statement leaves millions to face deep insecurity into the new year.
ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said:
“There’s been some improvement in the economic figures, which is clearly the result of action taken by the Government at the start of the pandemic. But the Government is now threatening to withdraw these much-needed supports, despite the long, hard road that the Treasurer acknowledged we have ahead of us.
“At the start of the pandemic we saw JobSeeker doubled, the JobKeeker scheme established, and eviction moratoriums put in place.
“Now, with 226,000 more people unemployed than there were in March, the Government is slashing income support, axing responsible lending laws and eviction moratoriums are set to come to an end.
“Just this week an economic study, conducted by Equity Economics for Everybody’s Home, predicted that next year we will see a 9% surge in homelessness and 24% more families will experience housing stress.
“MYEFO has missed a key opportunity to invest in social housing, which would help tens of thousands of people by giving them a secure home while also creating thousands of jobs and boosting prosperity.
“The budget update also fails to deliver on an adequate and permanent increase to JobSeeker or to provide any support to people on temporary visas who are being completely excluded from the income support system and are struggling to survive.
“The investment in 10,000 more aged care home packages is a welcome step to address Australia’s huge gap in care services. It highlights how much more needs to be done to guarantee our essential services, delivering more jobs to address priority community needs.
“Overall, MYEFO leaves millions in deep financial insecurity heading into 2021. They are not sharing in the hope and confidence the Treasurer talks about.
“In order to secure the confidence we need to recover, we must ensure that everyone has enough to cover the basics so that they can rebuild their lives.
“High end tax cuts for those who are most likely to save the extra income is far less effective as economic stimulus and gives dollars to people who do not need additional help,” Dr Goldie said.