“Last night’s Federal Budget demonstrated a level of compassion by the Albanese Government. It acknowledges that people are struggling with many basic living requirements. But, this budget also represents a missed opportunity to address this significant disadvantage in our community,” said Paul Turton, Interim CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria responding to the release of the Federal Budget.
Mr Turton acknowledged that the budget contained many measures in a $14.6 billion Cost of Living Plan that would help alleviate stress for the people St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria assist through their conferences and programs. He also expressed concerns.
“We, along with many community organisations and citizens, are disappointed that Job Seeker wasn’t raised to a sufficient level for recipients to live with adequacy of income. The Commonwealth Government could do much better,” Mr Turton said.
Mr Turton continued: “However, we acknowledge, any gain, however modest, is a step forward. There is a disappointing lack of specific new measures to activate the affordable housing market and provision of rental stock. We know we must continue to advocate over the long term to see gains that make real and lasting improvements to social and affordable housing.”
St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria welcomed a tripling of bulk billing, power bill relief of up to $500 per eligible household, more subsidized childcare places and a $10,000 pay increase for front line aged care workers. The charity also appreciated an albeit modest increased Commonwealth Rent Assistance, and an extension of the Single Parenting Payment until the youngest child turns fourteen together with more funds to address family violence, some relaxing of working rights for overseas students and new visas for Pacific nations refugees.
Paul Turton: “This budget represents a step in the right direction, but we need to do more.”
The St Vincent de Paul Society and its wide network of members and volunteers provide practical frontline support, advocacy and friendship for the most vulnerable members of our community. Key services include home visitation; Vinnies Shops; youth programs; soup vans; assistance for asylum seekers and refugees; education and tutoring; and professional accommodation and health services through VincentCare. The St Vincent de Paul Society in Victoria has more than 10,000+ members and volunteers, and more than 60,000 across Australia. Internationally, the Society operates in 149 countries and more than 950,000 members.
To find out more visit www.vinnies.org.au.