The coronavirus supplement, 100 Families WA, and the value of the not-for profit sector
31 August 2020 at 4:37 pm
A fortnightly roundup of the latest news from the Councils of Social Service of Australia.
More than 80 per cent of community service workers surveyed about the coronavirus supplement said the increased rates of income support were having a positive impact on the lives of the people they helped. Many workers expressed serious concerns about cuts to the payments.
This research was conducted in July by the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW Sydney in collaboration with the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and the network of Councils of Social Service of Australia (COSS Network), supported by Community Sector Banking.
The results were released by ACOSS on the Raise the Rate for Good Supporters’ National Day of Action (26 August) with people on JobSeeker and other income support payments contacting their local MPs and the prime minister on social media and over the phone.
100 Families WA, of which WACOSS is a project partner, recently released a research report and snapshot on findings of Social impacts of COVID-19 for families living in hardship, alongside Speaking from Experience, a video series featuring Community Advisory Group members sharing their lived experiences of hardship and entrenched disadvantage.
Victoria is in a period of economic hardship and social upheaval. In blunt terms, these are hard times. The national response to COVID-19 has been significant and far-reaching. Governments will inevitably get some things right, and some things wrong. VCOSS will scrutinise, inform and support that response, where appropriate. Read more about VCOSS advocacy here.
The current rate of JobSeeker (including the coronavirus supplement) is lifting thousands of Tasmanians out of poverty and has allowed families to meet basic household needs and relieve financial stress. Tasmanians have told TasCOSS they are spending the higher payment on essentials like fresh fruit and vegetables, paying their utility bills, heating their houses and buying warm clothes for their children. Read TasCOSS’s JobSeeker and the coronavirus supplement fact sheet.
Since March 2020, NCOSS CEO Joanna Quilty has regularly joined Simone Walker, deputy secretary, strategy, policy and commissioning at DCJ, to discuss specific issues facing the sector. The latest video, Continued support for service providers during COVID-19, discusses COVID-19 and some other topics, including: Continued support for service providers during the pandemic; the recent auditor general’s report on Their Futures Matter; and future funding allocations.
In this week’s video update, QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh talks about the Queensland government’s upcoming COVID-19 Fiscal and Economic Review, and their online event on 7 September which will examine the impacts of the statement on the sector.
NTCOSS launched its second Value of the Not-for profit Sector to the NT Economy Report. This provides in-depth data about the sector in the Northern Territory. Charities in the NT employ 10,389 people and additional productivity is gained by 11,208 volunteers.
SACOSS has released the major report, Connectivity Costs II: Telecommunications Affordability and Waged Poor Households. This report is a follow up to previous research Working to Make Ends Meet: Low-income Workers and Energy Bill Stress. Read the media release “Connection crisis for struggling households”. View infographics on Waged Poverty in Australia, and Waged Poverty and Telecommunications Affordability.
ACTCOSS released its second 2020 ACT Election issue brief, naming the lack of affordable housing as the biggest single challenge confronting people on low incomes. The issue brief Fixing Canberra’s housing crisis calls for attention on the shortage of affordable housing in Canberra through a variety of policies. Read the calls for action here.
This article was contributed by ACOSS Community Hub.