Budget makes a down payment on election promises

Anglicare Australia has said that tonight’s Budget makes a start on the Government’s election promises, but falls short on tackling poverty.

“Tonight’s Budget makes a down payment on the Government’s election promises,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

“There are welcome steps towards a stronger public sector, accountability in Government, and the first moves to a wellbeing Budget.

“The Government is also making a start on the cost-of-living crisis. Charities and community groups are seeing more and more people come to us for help, but our funding isn’t keeping up.

“Tonight’s fund for one-off top-ups will help in the short-term. In the long-term, we will work with the Government to make sure the services people rely on are funded to keep up with rising costs – nothing short of a fair and transparent indexation will fix this.

“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.

“Tonight’s accord between governments and industry has a target to build a million homes. It does not propose any new social housing, and just 20,000 homes are earmarked as affordable. We’ll be pushing for the accord to include a major boost to social and affordable housing.”

Ms Chambers said the Budget was also a lost opportunity to deal with Stage 3 Tax Cuts.

“The most disappointing part of tonight’s Budget are the Stage 3 Tax Cuts. The tax cuts are expensive, unfair, and unpopular. Even those set to benefit say they don’t need them.

“These tax cuts will damage our progressive tax system and lock-in unfairness. Our costings show that if the Government scrapped the tax cuts, it could lift 2.4 million people out of poverty and boost affordable housing – with savings to spare.

“If the Government is serious about wellbeing, it should be lifting people out of poverty – not handing money back to people who don’t want or need it.”