Anglicare Australia believes that parents and children should be supported. The responsibility involved in caring for children should be valued in and of itself. Anglicare Australia maintains significant concerns about the ParentsNext program, which is mandatory for some people living on Parenting Payment. These relate to the compulsory nature of the program and its punitive and disproportionate Targeted Compliance Framework. Anglicare Australia calls for the Targeted Compliance Framework to be abolished, and recommends that the ParentsNext program be redesigned as voluntary and person-centred pre-employment support program.
Unemployment has declined, and many believe the employment market is thriving. In spite of this, the number of people with barriers to work seeking employment has barely budged. Those who need the most help to find work, and those who are long-term unemployed, are not benefitting from the recovery in the labour force. In this submission, Anglicare Australia calls for a renewed focus on direct job creation, particularly in entry-level roles, focusing on sectors with high projected demand for workers. It also recommends a major overhaul of employment services to focus on delivering real outcomes, instead of simply administering breaches and obligations. In the meantime, it will be critical to raise the rate of income payments to ensure that people do not get caught in poverty traps while they seek work.
In this submission we argue for a well-resourced Commission and a strong regulatory framework, that achieves the difficult balance between assuring the standards, safety, security and voice of older people, but also encourages provider innovation and culture change where necessary, and is not so risk averse as to stifle the ability of older Australians to make choices, take risks and exercise autonomy.
Anglicare Australia believes that everybody has the right to dignity and quality of life as they age. That means committing to a continuum of care, where everybody can get the support they need in a way that suits them. This submission makes recommendations to put people at the centre of care, support the choices and preferences of older Australians, and ensure that funding reflects the real costs of care.
Every Australian has the right to live safely and free from harm. In this submission, Anglicare Australia focused on the need to strengthen the broader support system so that women and children can leave abusive situations and heal. This means ensuring that support services are adequately resourced, raising social security payments above the poverty line, closing the gender pay gap, building women’s financial security, and having a strong approach to perpetrator accountability. Anglicare Australia also calls for the Government to draw more heavily on international data and evidence to understand the effectiveness of different methods to tackle coercive control, and to recognise, plan for and address the consequences of criminalising coercive control.
This submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment regarding the Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Cheaper Child Care) Bill 2022 commended the Government for removing the activity test for First Nations children but noted the activity test continues to apply to other children from low-income households or who are developmentally vulnerable. We recommended the bottom two steps of the activity test be removed, guaranteeing three days of subsidised early learning and care for every family, including where the parent with the least hours of work is engaged in fewer than 16 hours of recognised activity.
Fair and sustainable pricing enables the aged care sector to deliver high quality care. In this submission to the Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority, we focus on the need for the pricing structure to reflect the cost of providing the care that Australians expect for themselves and their family members. This means ensuring that pricing keeps up with rising costs over time and recognising the costs of delivering care in regional and rural areas. Anglicare Australia also calls for a Pricing Framework that supports holistic, person-centred care, enabling a person to live a fulfilling and meaningful life.
In this submission Anglicare Australia advocates for a re-think of our entire approach to work and care, that provides all Australians with a permanent basic income to lift them out of poverty, and value their contribution, regardless of whether it is in paid employment, caring for friends and family, or volunteering in the community. We must do away with punitive and ineffective employment services that fail to take account of people’s situation, and move to a person-centred system that takes into account people’s strengths, goals and circumstances.
As well as much needed income, work can give people purpose, reduce social isolation, and foster connection to community. In this submission Anglicare Australia supportsthe provisions in the amendment that allow people receiving aged pension or veteran entitlements to have their payments suspended for up to two years, instead of cancelled, if they earn employment income above the maximum threshold. We also call for extension of the Work Bonus to social security recipients under 65 years and support for workforce participation through a universal basic income.
Taking care of a loved one or a friend can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling, but it can also negatively impact an informal carer’s health, wellbeing, and financial security. Current arrangements fail to adequately support informal carers. In this submission, Anglicare Australia advocates that a legislated right to return to work will be helpful, but having enough money to live on while carrying out caring responsibilities is far more important. We call for a universal, permanent basic income to benefit all carers.