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Federal budget must include provisions to ensure a decent standard of living for all, says AASW

Published: 2 May 2018

Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) National President Christine Craik today called on the Government to overturn the recent policies which have put a decent standard of living, and participation in the life of the community, out of reach of many people, ahead of the Budget speech next week.

Ms Craik said, “The Budget is government’s opportunity to shape a society in which everyone can thrive and flourish. But the Government’s recent policies have made this goal impossible by creating poverty traps for low income people and by enforcing punitive compliance regimes on people who are already struggling with life’s challenges. The cashless welfare debit card comes to mind.

“On budget night, we will be paying attention to the key areas of income support, housing policy, job creation, mental health services and the NDIS. These are the areas where the Government has a responsibility to respond to the needs of vulnerable people.”

The AASW endorses the work of ACOSS, drawing attention to the need to guarantee housing and raise the level of the Newstart Allowance, and have identified key areas of concern in its own submission. These include:

  • Lifting the amount of income support payments to the level of the Minimum Income for Healthy living
  • Replacing the current punitive policies on unemployed people with initiatives that have been proven to create pathways into work
  • Reform housing policy and adopt a national strategy to end homelessness

You can read our pre-budget submission here.


Christine Craik is available for interview.

About the AASW

Social workers act collectively and individually to contribute to society in a way that is dedicated to achieving social justice, inclusion and wellbeing.

The Australian Association of Social Workers is the professional representative body of social workers in Australia, with more than 11,000 members. It was formed as a national association in 1946 and has since supported its members through the profession's many developments and changes.

Media contact
Angela Yin
Communications Lead
P 03 9320 1005 M 0413 532 954

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers