Response to Federal Budget 2019-20

4 April 2019
Close up shot of assorted coins

Similar to other community groups, Sacred Heart Mission has expressed its disappointment that the Federal Budget 2019-20, released last night, continues to ignore Australians experiencing chronic disadvantage and homelessness.

CEO Cathy Humphrey says the Federal Budget has not acknowledged Australia’s homelessness crisis or the critical shortage of social and affordable housing, despite the 14 per cent increase in homelessness since 2011.

“The Budget fails to address the main reasons more than 116,000 people are experiencing homelessness every night; the soaring costs of living, unaffordable housing and below-poverty-level income support payments,” Cathy says.

“We were hoping for a much needed investment in social and affordable housing, rather than a Budget which forgets the most vulnerable people in our society, who need Government to make a commitment to ending homelessness in Australia.”

Sacred Heart Mission will continue to support the nationwide Everybody’s Home campaign in a sector-wide call for more social housing to address the growing housing crisis, especially in the lead up to the May Federal Election.

CEO Cathy Humphrey says while the sector is overall disappointed about a lost opportunity to tackle poverty through increasing the Newstart allowance, organisations welcome the $500 million for the Royal Commission into Abuse of People with Disability, $280 million for home care packages for the elderly and $460 million for mental health and the previously-announced $330 million in funding for domestic violence services.

However, we echo the concerns of Australian Council of Social Service, who says, “these initiatives pale in comparison with the scale of need: the 3 million people in poverty, the crisis in housing affordability, the backlog of 100,000 aged care packages, the delays and under-spending on the NDIS, and the billions that need to be spent on mental and dental health.”