Truth and justice, a perfect storm and welfare cuts tipping marginal seats
22 March 2021 at 6:02 pm
All the latest news from the Councils of Social Service of Australia.
ACOSS has revealed new analysis from the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW showing more than 50 marginal electorates could be decided by people affected by the cuts to social security payments, with the removal of the coronavirus supplement, come 31 March. An average of 13,000 people in each electorate (more than 10 per cent of electors, on average), 9,000 of whom receive JobSeeker or Youth Allowance (Other) will have their incomes cut at the end of March.
ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said: “Parliamentarians need to be aware of the reality in their electorates, and that this is the single most important issue in the lives of people directly affected. Before COVID, one third of single parents, who are overwhelmingly women, were living in poverty with their children. As the 550 Reasons to Smile campaign showed, the coronavirus supplement gave women and their children the dignity of being able to cover the very basics – winter clothes, toiletries and medical needs. Now hundreds of thousands of single mothers, who face additional challenges in finding paid work, are incredibly concerned about their family’s future.”
Adrienne Picone, CEO of TasCOSS, writes about the harsh impacts of the reduction of Jobseeker: “We are facing a perfect storm with JobSeeker being wound back and at the same time moving into winter where people have higher costs with electricity and utilities. All combined, with higher costs of petrol and other items like fresh fruit and vegetables, it comes together to really push people below the poverty line and make it hard to get by. We’re gravely concerned. We feel like last year what we talked about a lot was this potential cliff, and what we’re seeing right now is people poised on the edge of that cliff.”
VCOSS supports the First People’s Assembly of Victoria in establishing a Truth and Justice Commission to investigate historical, ongoing and systemic injustices committed against Aboriginal people: “This is exactly what Aboriginal Victorians have been calling for. Because you can’t have progress without truth. You can’t have Treaties without justice.”
Do you work with or for young people aged 18 to 24 in NSW? NCOSS and Youth Action are conducting research into how young people are using Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) platforms. They are asking young people to complete a short survey here. It will approximately take 10 minutes, on their experiences with these products. The survey includes questions on experiences with BNPL, frequency of use, purchase types and payment methods. Responses will remain anonymous and will go in the draw for a $100 voucher. You can help by distributing the survey to young people in your networks. More information here.
ACTCOSS participated in the second annual Hands Up for Canberra Giving Day, a hyper-local 24-hour campaign to raise funds for community organisations in Canberra. A total of over $600,000 in matched donations was raised by participants, with the event providing a platform to highlight ways in which disadvantage and inequality impact Canberrans.
QCOSS is hosting an In Conversation with Under Treasurer Rachel Hunter to discuss Queensland’s state budget planning process. The webinar will explore how the community services sector can influence and contribute to the state government’s funding decisions as the Queensland government prepares its 2021/22 Budget. Register here.
NTCOSS is calling for input. The 2021 edition of the Story of Our Children and Young People is in development seeking the following: Positive stories of change for children or young people and their families and cultural stories of wellness. For further information visit here. To view the 2019 Story, its Regional Stories and data tables visit here.
Following a landslide win for WA Labor and Premier Mark McGowan at the state election, WACOSS issued a media release calling on the government to “take the historic opportunity to engage in the progressive, structural reform necessary to address inequality and injustice in our state. WA cannot afford for this opportunity to be wasted.”
Come to SACOSS’s Energy, Water and Housing Conference on Wednesday 19 May 2021 to hear from cross-sector speakers on addressing gaps and areas of disadvantage. Housing, energy and water are fundamental, but our experiences differ depending on where we live and whether we have tenure over our home.
This article was contributed by ACOSS Community Hub.