UnitingSA has welcomed Federal Budget measures that will help ease cost of living pressures for some of the nation’s most vulnerable households.
UnitingSA Acting CEO Stephen Dawes said support for single parents, increased rent assistance, rebates on energy bills, funding for medicines and GP visits would ease pressure on families doing it tough.
“The Government has recognised the urgent need to help millions of Australians struggling to meet the soaring cost of living,” Mr Dawes said.
“The country’s most vulnerable people are at the centre of this Budget, and it’s a welcome relief.
“While many view this as a budget for the battlers, making medicines and GP visits less expensive and rebates on energy bills will help meet challenging household budgets for everyone.”
Almost half of South Australian households will receive the $500 energy rebate announced in the Budget, while measures to make childcare more affordable will also help thousands of families.
UnitingSA has also joined the combined voice of Australian aged care providers in welcoming the fully-funded 15 percent wage increase for workers, which will help thousands of Australians continue to put food on the table.
“The aged care worker wage increase is a major win for the incredible carers in UnitingSA’s workforce, and it acknowledges the important role carers play in supporting our older Australians,” Mr Dawes said.
“Like many, we have continued concerns regarding the sustainability of the sector and ensuring we have the funding needed to continue providing high-quality care for older Australians.”
Mr Dawes said while a $20 weekly increase to Job Seeker payments was a good start, it was still a long way from ending poverty.
“While the larger increases in income support for Australians aged over 55 and relief for single parents will help many, the small increase in JobSeeker falls short. We look forward to seeing this rate continue to increase in future years,” he said.
“Despite the commitment to increase rent assistance, it’s also disappointing that there are few initiatives to address the current housing and homelessness crisis.”
UnitingSA is a part of the UnitingCare Australia national body, the largest social services network in the country. The network supports 1.4 million people every year across 1600 sites in urban rural and remote communities, with over 50,000 staff and 30,000 volunteers. It is also Australia’s largest network of not-for-profit aged care providers, supporting 97,000 older people.
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