Baptcare joins ACOSS delegation to Federal Parliament

Baptcare joins ACOSS delegation to Federal Parliament

Baptcare and ACOSS believe that the 2014–15 Budget departs from Australia’s historical commitment to a social safety net, universal health and education. While a number of Budget measures will affect households on high incomes, these are largely short term or marginal in impact. By contrast, the budget will introduce cuts to social security supports for those living on low incomes which will have long-term and severe impacts.

Baptcare joined representatives from other Australian community service organisations in an Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) delegation to Federal Parliament to express deep concern about the changes to social security payments that are currently being considered as part of the Federal Budget, as these changes will severely impact those who are the most vulnerable in our society.

The delegation called on parliamentarians to reject plans to deny income support to people under 30 who are genuinely seeking work and the transfer of 22–24 year olds from Newstart to the lower Youth Allowance. Additionally, they declared that the proposed cuts to Family Tax Benefit B will leave low income and sole parent families in an even more precarious position and increase child poverty. Furthermore, raising the eligibility age for the Age Pension to 70 will keep seniors on the lower Newstart income and increase the number of aged poor.

ACOSS believes that the 2014–15 Budget departs from Australia’s historical commitment to a social safety net, universal health and education. While a number of Budget measures will affect households on high incomes, these are largely short term or marginal in impact. By contrast, the budget will introduce cuts to social security supports for those living on low incomes which will have long-term and severe impacts.

AIHW Child protection Australia 2012-2013 (No Image)

The increased number of child abuse notifications that were reported in the recent Child Protection Report released on the 25 July 2014 by the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare are a positive reflection of the increase in community awareness around vulnerable children. The increasing awareness of child abuse has been fostered by the Royal Commission into Child Abuse and other inquiries in the states into vulnerable children and institutional abuse. This is a positive thing for vulnerable children, especially those under four years who are the most vulnerable.

Although Tasmania has the low rate of investigations into notifications of child abuse, this is the result of two factors. Firstly, the increased rate of reporting, a consequence of the factors noted above, and, secondly, strong support and referral services for children at risk. The Gateway in Tasmania that has been operated by Baptcare since 2009, helps to address both of these factors by offering a contact point for people who are concerned about abuse, while also acting as an efficient and effective assessment mechanism that provides family support and monitors the welfare of children at risk.

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