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Anglicare Australia network calls for abandonment of welfare changes

Jun 23, 2017, 09:51 AM by Maiy Azize

The Anglicare Australia network has released a statement calling on the Government to abandon its proposed welfare changes:

Anglicare Australia affirms its opposition to the Government’s proposed changes to Australia’s welfare system.

Measures such as the new demerit point system, random drug testing and increased obligations to look for work that isn’t there or participate in work for the dole programs, are punitive and not supported by evidence. 

These, along with proposals to force people to spend their savings before seeking income support and denying help to people harmed by addiction will simply drive more Australians into extreme poverty. They will come with a terrible cost in human suffering.

The quest for savings through these measures is unethical, and the savings themselves are a mirage. Cutting people off only leads to crisis – and the costs of providing emergency services to people in extreme need are far higher. 

We call for the abandonment of the Government’s proposed welfare measures, and the rejection of any relevant legislation by the Senate.

Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers said that the Anglicare network would continue to oppose the changes now that the social services legislation has been introduced.

“Between drug testing, the demerit point proposal, and the recently leaked ‘welfare hotspot’ list, what we have seen in recent weeks is a concerted campaign to demonise people accessing the social safety net.

“Anglicare’s Jobs Availability Snapshot shows that people are already trying their hardest to compete for jobs that just aren’t there.

“But instead of offering relief, people who need help from the government are being scapegoated and criminalised.

“We should be a community that helps people when they need it, instead of kicking them when they’re down.”