Anthony Albanese’s government should further increase Centrelink payments for unemployed and tax-rich Australians, says the Australian Council for Social Services.
The Australian Council for Social Services wants the federal government to increase the JobSeeker allocation in this year’s budget as the poorest struggle with the cost of living.
In addition to increasing JobSeeker from $50 a day to $76, ACOSS wants the Albanian government to eliminate stage three tax cuts and help make homes more energy efficient.
ACOSS has released their annual budget wish list of things they would like the government to implement when the budget is delivered on May 9.
The wish list also includes removing the stage three tax cuts, which the Labor government promised to implement at the last election.
“We say now is the right time to correct the adequacy of our key social protections for people on the lowest incomes, who cannot access paid work,” said ACOSS Executive Director Cassandra Goldie.
“So we think now is absolutely the right time for the government to step in.
“It’s a shame that we still have, as one of the richest countries in the world, an unemployment payment that is the lowest among comparable OECD countries.”
Dr Goldie said welfare recipients are struggling with basic daily needs as inflation worsens cost of living pressures.
“People on income support skip meals, forgo essential medicines and turn off hot water just to have a roof over their heads,” he said.
“The government must create a fairer tax system and must start by canceling stage three tax cuts for the richest in our society.
“Australia, one of the richest countries in the world, remains the ninth lowest in terms of our overall tax base among OECD countries, and the sixth lowest in terms of our government spending.”
Dr. Goldie said that the government must start making bold decisions.
“With over three million people living in poverty in Australia, this budget must provide cost-of-living relief for those who need it most and help shape a more inclusive society,” he said.
Dr Cassandra Goldie, chief executive of the Australian Council for Social Services, calls for a reorganization of the Centrelink system in the 2023-24 federal budget.
ACOSS wants Jobkeeper’s pay to increase to $76 per day
Other demands include the abolition of private health insurance reimbursement and fossil fuel subsidies; replacing them with a 15 percent tax on windfall post-retirement earnings; a tax on sugary drinks; an offshore gas royalty; broaden the base of the Medicare Tax; restrict investment property tax breaks; and reduction of Capital Gains Tax concessions.
Dr. Goldie also wants investment property tax deductions eliminated for any part of the financial year in which that property is not rented.
“We just have too many rental properties…sitting for long periods of time without being actively available to rent to provide housing for people who need it.”
ACOSS is also pushing to find ways to make low-income households more energy efficient, as energy regulator price increases show Australians will pay 20-22 per cent more for energy next year. financial.
An ACOSS survey of 208 people in February showed that 62 percent of respondents had trouble keeping their homes cool in the summer.
Ninety percent reported that the heat made them feel ill, and 30 percent suffered heat stroke so severe that they required medical attention.
“People with the lowest incomes are affected first, worst and longest by extreme weather events,” said Dr. Goldie.
“People with low incomes are forced to live in poorly designed houses: they are too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter, and too expensive to maintain.
“The most important thing we can do now is to invest appropriately, first, in increasing income adequacy… second, invest in energy efficiency for low-income households and enforce energy efficiency standards.”