Welfare Sector Converges on Parliament
27 August 2014 at 12:17 pm
The Australian Council of Social Service has led a large delegation of community sector representatives to Canberra to call on Parliamentarians to reject harmful social security changes in this year’s Budget.
The delegation has released a Statement signed by more than 100 community organisations from around the country expressing their serious concerns about what they describe as unfair budget measures and urging Parliament to reject those changes which will adversely affect people on low incomes.
The delegation has also offered to partner with Government in a process of responsible reform to the tax and transfer systems to ensure Australia maintains a robust system of supports and services into the future.
ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said the the welfare sector was calling on Parliamentarians to reject aspects of the budget which will adversely affect people on low incomes.
She said these including removing income support for six months of the year for young people looking for work; the transfer of 22-24 year olds from the Newstart payment to the lower Youth Allowance; reducing indexation of pension payments; and reducing assistance to low income families, including sole parent families, through changes to family payments.
The Community Statement said the welfare organisations rejected the Government’s division between those who ‘lift’ and those who ‘lean’.
“We do not believe these measures are necessary to achieve budget sustainability when fairer alternatives exist,” the statement said.
“We understand the long term budget challenge the nation faces, with revenue declining and the needs of an ageing population increasing. For this reason we support responsible reform to our tax and transfer systems to ensure we can maintain a robust system of supports and services into the future for all of those who need them.
“We are ready to partner with Government in this reform process which we believe must be approached with care, equity and fairness and in dialogue with the community,” it said.
Some of the one hundred community groups include:
Australian Council of Social Service
People with Disability Australia
National Council of Single Mothers and their Children
Baptist Care Australia
Youth Coalition of the ACT/AYAC
St Vincent de Paul Society
Mental Health Australia