In this submission, Anglicare Australia recommends that the draft Strategy be amended to include the alleviation of poverty as part of the proposed Priority Focus Areas. This should be accompanied by actions to raise the income of caregivers above the poverty line and build more social housing.
As Australia’s population continues to get older and the average person lives longer, it is critical that the retirement income system is sustainable for the long-term and for a long time. Older Australians need to know that they will be guaranteed a secure retirement. With superannuation and the Age Pension as the two main sources of retirement income, it is critical that information and education is clear and available, laying out the expectations and options for older Australians within the retirement income system.
As Australia continues to grapple with a cost-of-living crisis, the financial pressure on Australians is growing with an increasing amount of individuals and households experiencing financial distress. As
the cost of basic necessities, like food, energy and housing, continue to rise but wage growth remains sluggish and unable to keep up, many people will be left behind without proper support. This is where financial wellbeing services play a vital role. This submission makes recommendations focused on supporting vulnerable Australians in a way that is robust and flexible enough to adapt to new challenges and emerging client types as living costs continue to rise.
It is important that community services continue to have adequate secure funding streams to carry out their work. Community organisations need certainty in funding to provide critical support services, yet this has been an ongoing struggle for many in the Anglicare Australia Network and similar organisations across the country. Government contracting procedures, across state, territory and local governments have made funding streams complex and interacting with them time consuming. Further, we should not and cannot rely on private, philanthropic investment to provide the support that must be the domain of government.
Anglicare Australia believes that the creation of a fairer society depends on a strong community
sector. Community services are both a universal entitlement and a safety net, ensuring that
everybody has a stake and everybody counts. Anglicare Australia makes this submission on behalf of
our members, and people who use their services.
In this submission Anglicare Australia points to our Network’s key insights and analysis and draws together current intelligence from network members working with people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity. We make recommendations to make renting more secure and more affordable.
We are hopeful that the National Housing and Homelessness Plan can serve as a foundational document in combating, and ultimately ending, the housing crisis in the years to come. By coordinating federal, state and territory, and local governments action, Australia can move towards a more integrated housing eco-system that ensures every Australian can find an affordable home where they want to live.
Fair and sustainable pricing is one of the enablers of a system that can deliver high quality of care. In our submission to the Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority’s (IHACPA) Consultation Paper on the Pricing Framework for Australian Residential Aged Care Services 2024-25 we recognise that getting the classification and assessment processes right is so important to making sure people receive the level and mix of high-quality care they need, in a timely way, and that no-one is being excluded from the system. We draw IHACPA’s attention to areas where further work and consideration is needed, including around allied health and lifestyle and pastoral care; respite and palliative care; the development of the indexation formula and adjustments for regional service delivery.
In this submission we recommend the Taskforce consider building a sustainable and fair funding base for aged care, including by changes to the overly generous tax treatment of superannuation, and to how housing wealth is assessed in means testing of aged care services. The funding system should be simpler and easier to understand, for older Australians and the community in general, and it should operate in a way that enables and encourages providers to invest in high quality and innovative models of service delivery.
Once, renting was seen as a temporary housing solution – a stopgap between leaving home and buying your first property. It is now clear that more and more Australians will rent for life. Yet renting in Australia has never been less affordable. It is time for our legal and regulatory framework to adapt to that change, enshrining protections for renters and limiting unfair rent increases that have driven unaffordability. The Federal Government must also reclaim its role in supplying housing. Solving this crisis will require sustained and long-term commitment to improving Australia’s housing market. Our hope is that this inquiry will provide the Government with a blueprint for a better Australia.
Climate change is impacting people’s health, quality of life, livelihoods and ability to make ends meet financially. These stark realities underscore the importance of the proposed Strategy, which presents an opportunity to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change while improving health and wellbeing outcomes for all Australians. This submission supports the Strategy’s committment to health in all policies, and calls for additional focus on equity and intergenerational justice.