Releasing its statement for the Federal election, Towards A Fairer Australia, ACOSS asks all parties to commit to harnessing the strong economic growth and large budget surplus to ensure a fair go for all Australians.
ACOSS is renewing its call on all parties to address the needs of disadvantaged and low income Australians by committing to improved access and affordability to key social services, like healthcare, childcare, affordable housing and vocational education and training, which are essential for all Australians.
Key elements of the ACOSS election statement include:
- A national action plan with targets to address the needs of low income and disadvantaged Australians;
- Greater access to education and training for jobless Australians who need to increase their skills to transition into the workforce;
- A national affordable housing agreement to increase affordable housing for people on low incomes by increasing public and community housing and introducing national affordable rental incentives;
- Commonwealth funding to ensure access to a basic package of dental care for people on low incomes;
- A plan to address the multiple disadvantages faced by Indigenous Australians;
- Reform of the welfare payment system to make it simpler and fairer, giving priority to increases in the base rates of payment for those on allowances, help with the additional costs for people with disabilities and more investment in job search and training;
- Greater investment in services to support people in their communities, to meet the deep well of unmet need in Australia’s community services system.
ACOSS President Lin Hatfield Dodds said, “ACOSS calls on all parties to live up to the ideal of the fair go for all by addressing the needs of those Australians missing out.”
“This year, Australia’s elected leaders have a unique opportunity to use the resources from economic growth to reduce disadvantage. It is time for all political parties in Australia to prioritise a greater investment in services to reduce poverty and disadvantage in areas such as health, education, welfare, housing, services, work and wages.”
ACOSS Executive Director Andrew Johnson said, “Despite large budget surpluses and good economic times, significant numbers of Australians still lack access to basic services such as child care, health care and affordable housing.”
“To ensure a fair go for all Australians, all parties must commit to a national action plan with targets to address poverty and disadvantage.”
Now is the time for all politicians to commit to ensuring a fair go for all Australians.