Anglicare Australia has released a paper showing that the Government could raise JobSeeker and other payments over the poverty line, and tackle the shortage of social homes, for less than the cost of the tax cuts.
The paper, titled ‘A Clear Choice‘, shows that:
- The JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment and Carer Payment could be raised to $88 per day.
- This would pull almost 2.3 million Australians out of poverty, including 840,000 children.
- The Government could also build 36,000 social homes each year.
- This program would end the shortfall and provide affordable homes to hundreds of thousands of people.
- These measures would cost $208 billion over 10 years, less than the $243 billion cost of the tax cuts.
Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers said Australia faces a clear choice.
“For years, our Governments have told us they can’t afford to act on poverty. Our analysis shows that’s not true,” Ms Chambers said.
“The biggest risk factors for poverty are living on income payments and being in housing stress. In this month’s Budget, the Government can take action on both.
“Key Centrelink payments are languishing well below the poverty line. Raising the rate of these payments would lift millions of people out of poverty – including hundreds of thousands of children.
“At the same time, too many people are struggling to find a secure, affordable rental. Rents have never been higher, and the social housing shortfall is enormous.
“We can end that shortfall, help thousands of people at risk of homelessness, and pull even more out of rental stress. At the same time, we’ll be freeing up lower cost rentals in the private market.
“All of this can be done for well under the cost of the tax cuts.
“This is a clear choice. If the Government can afford to push ahead with tax cuts that are unfair and unpopular – polling shows that even the biggest beneficiaries do not want them – then it has no excuse to abandon action on poverty.”