2024 Federal Budget Reaction

Jun 5, 2024

Download our Press Release here.

2024 Federal Budget Reaction

Key points:

The cost-of-living relief and tax cuts for all households are welcome.

We congratulate the federal government on housing announcements:

  • $1 billion directed towards crisis and transitional accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic violence, and youth under the National Housing Infrastructure Facility.
  • Funding for states and territories to build the roads, sewers, energy, water and community infrastructure that we need for new homes and for additional social housing supply. This dovetails a similar announcement in last week’s State budget.
  • A new 5‑year National Agreement on Social Housing and Homelessness with the States.

The downside is this budget lacks the targeted support to the lowest income households who feel the cost-of-living rises the most.

We are deeply disappointed that JobSeeker and other income support payments are kept well below the poverty line.

Quotes attributable to Anglicare WA CEO Mark Glasson:

“Increases to rent assistance and electricity bill relief are welcome short-term boosts, but the simplest and single biggest step the federal government could take to permanently reduce poverty is to increase income support payments above the poverty line.

“Inadequate income support is the key cause of poverty in Australia and it’s unacceptable for a government to leave its most vulnerable citizens unable to cover the basics of food, housing and medicine.

“The payment has been too low for too long, trapping people in poverty instead of helping them escape it. Only an increase to the base rate of Centrelink payments can really help people doing it the toughest. This is major unfinished business from the Budget.

“Boosting rent assistance will be a small help to recipients, but that’s all it is. It’s simply not enough to have any meaningful impact. Just last month, our Rental Affordability Snapshot found a person on JobSeeker could only afford three rentals out of 45,000 listings nationally. Yesterday’s increase adds just three additional rentals across the entire country.

“Poverty-level federal payments also create a huge demand for state-based services and concessions, which effectively shifts the cost to the state government. Last week’s WA budget was doing a lot of the heavy lifting for people doing it tough and that wouldn’t be necessary with adequate payments. “As we head towards a federal election, our organisation will be looking to WA federal MPs to make the case to raise JobSeeker and other critical government payments.” 

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