Response to Federal Budget 2018-19

9 May 2018
A bunch of keys with a house-shaped pendant

Sacred Heart Mission echoes the concerns of Homelessness Australia in response to the Federal Budget 2018-19 released last night.

“We are disappointed to see no commitment to extra funding for social housing or homelessness services, despite the rise in homelessness reflected in the latest Census data,” Sacred Heart Mission CEO Cathy Humphrey says.

The Federal Government has proposed a $295 million cut to housing funding, dropping to $1.5 billion, the lowest in a decade. As HA’s Budget analysis indicates, there has been a 16 per cent decline in federal spending on housing and homelessness over the last five years.

“We need to continue to raise the issues around the supply of affordable and social housing, so we will continue to support the nationwide Everybody’s Home campaign in a sector-wide call for State and Federal Governments to invest in more social housing and address the growing housing crisis.”

The Federal Government has also proposed tax cuts for low to middle-income earners, with savings of up to $530 a year (or $11 per week).

“While, as the Federal Government states, these tax cuts ‘reward’ working Australians, they effectively ‘punish’ those in our community who are not in a position to work,” Cathy says.

“It’s a national disgrace people on Newstart continue to survive on $39 dollars a day, this payment is so low it hinders people in their efforts to find work and move forward with their lives.

“These tax cuts foreshadow a reduction in Government revenue, depriving future governments of the means to fund essential services for people experiencing increasing social disadvantage.”

While the Federal Government’s Budget will largely disadvantage the most vulnerable people in our community, they have allocated additional budget to Aged Care, including $1.6 billion to increase the number of home care places to 14,000 over four years.

“We welcome additional funding to support elderly people in our community to remain in their own homes and stay connected to their community,” Cathy says.

“We have invested in programs like Sacred Heart Local because we know that independence and social inclusion are central to positive health and wellbeing outcomes.”

The Government has also announced $83 million for mental health services in residential aged care, as well as $22 million to fight elder abuse.