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Federal Budget 2017 Through the Eyes of People on Lower Incomes

5 May 2017 at 5:18 pm
Treasurer Scott Morrison will be the keynote speaker at the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) Post Budget Breakfast on 15 May.

Contributor | 5 May 2017 at 5:18 pm


Federal Budget 2017 Through the Eyes of People on Lower Incomes
5 May 2017 at 5:18 pm

Treasurer Scott Morrison will be the keynote speaker at the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) Post Budget Breakfast on 15 May.

Find out more and book your tickets here.

How will the federal budget impact people on low and modest incomes in Australia? We know that recent budgets have disproportionately hit our constituents, ripping out over $15 billion (over four years) from vital community services. There is growing speculation that the May budget will again target people who are doing it the toughest in our community.

ACOSS has been a strong voice for a more compassionate Australia and stands with the community. According to the latest Newspoll 61 per cent of people oppose further “welfare” cuts in the upcoming budget.

As the peak body for Australia’s community sector, we have put forward a set of considered alternatives that would focus on improving the living standards of people on low and modest incomes, ensure wealthier people contribute more fairly to revenue, and deliver good economic and social policies.

In this post-GFC world, we have big choices to make.

Will we turn the tide on rising inequality, now at a 70-year high? Or will we continue to blame people who have the least for our national challenges, which are also being experienced globally? Will it be a Budget that is founded on values of love, care and community or will it be a Budget about disregard, division and self?

At the recent World Economic Forum, global leaders agreed that rising inequality presents the greatest risk to our economic future. Good economic policy goes hand in hand with good social policy. We can avoid going down the path of some other nations who are facing higher levels of poverty, inequality and social upheaval. Will the Federal Budget take us in the right direction?

So-called “good debt” cannot simply be reduced to physical infrastructure like roads, ports, transport and energy infrastructure. We must recognise that even more critical is social infrastructure, particularly investment in social and affordable housing, and the infrastructure needed to support education, health, and social security.

We also cannot just look to cutting recurrent expenditure. As one of the lowest taxing countries in the OECD, a balanced budget must look to strengthen our tax base and revenue, ensuring that wealthier people are contributing their fair share. This is crucial for the wellbeing of our nation and our economy.

To refer to recurrent spending in health, education or social security as “bad debt” is short-sighted and the wrong approach. ACOSS has urged the Treasurer and this government to broaden the lens and ensure people and our communities are at the very heart of policy and the all-important national budget.

In our Budget submission to government, ACOSS stressed the federal budget needs to be viewed as much more than an accounting exercise. It is ultimately about people and our communities, and the priorities and goals we set for our country. The choices made in the budget tell us what the government of the day stands for and the goals it wishes to pursue on our behalf. We welcome our role in analysing government Budget policies and advocating on behalf of civil society for a greater focus on people with low incomes while increasing participation and transparency in budget policy decisions.

Treasurer Scott Morrison will join ACOSS as keynote speaker at the ACOSS Post-Budget Breakfast on Monday 15 May. The event will provide a critical stage to discuss the impacts of the Federal Budget from the perspective of people experiencing poverty and disadvantage, and the community organisations who support them.

The Treasurer will join ACOSS CEO, Dr Cassandra Goldie to discuss the federal budget. Morrison will then be followed by a dynamic panel of high profile commentators, community, business and union representatives. Chaired by Patricia Karvelas (from ABC RN and Sky News), the ACOSS Post Budget Breakfast will be a robust discussion as we move beyond politics and short term analysis and apply a focused, critical lens to the federal budget through the eyes of people on lower incomes in Australia.

This expert panel includes:

  • Dr Jackie Huggins AM, Co-Chair of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples
  • Dr John Hewson AM, economic expert, company director and former leader of the Liberal Party of Australia
  • Laura Tingle, political editor, Australian Financial Review
  • Heather Ridout AO, company director, Former CEO of Australian Industry Group
  • Marcus Spiller, principle partner and director of SGS Economics and Planning
  • Nadine Flood, national secretary, Community and Public Sector Union

Join them for this important post-budget breakfast.

For more information:

When: Monday, 15 May 2016

Time: 7.30-10.00am, Sydney time

Venue: Aerial UTS Function Centre Level 7, Building 10, 235 Jones Street Ultimo

Registration: For more information and to register, please go to:

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