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Join us at 2015 ACOSS National Conference: 25-26 June

Save the date: June 25-26, 2015
Venue: Australian Technology Park, Redfern, NSW

Join us to explore big ideas at the meeting place of Australia's community sector at the 2015 ACOSS National Conference.

This year's annual conference, ‘Advancing the Common Good', will open discussion about the ways in which we can ensure that policy reforms address poverty and inequality, and how economic growth can be both fair and inclusive.

As part of the conference, ACOSS will also stage a media forum, 'Telling our stories for a more inclusive society', in partnership with the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence on Wednesday 24th June.

Find out more about the conference and media forum and register here.

New ACOSS report confirms Budget fails fairness test

A new report released today by ACOSS shows that, by keeping most of the 2014 savings measures and delivering new cuts, the 2015 Budget would strip an estimated $15 billion over four years from basic services and supports, with total projected cuts of $80 billion from health and schools funding to the States over the next decade.

"Last year's devastating Federal Budget casts a long shadow that undermines some advances made in this year's Budget," said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.

Read Full Statement and Download Report.

ACOSS on Budget 2015: Better direction but lower income earners still doing the heavy lifting

Speaking at the release of the Federal Budget, ACOSS said it shows some improvements in strategy, with a fairer approach to pension reform and increased investment in child care. But the overall package retains many harsh cuts from last year's Budget and will leave many people on the lowest incomes worse off. The Budget also fails to stimulate investment in jobs growth.

ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said, "We were looking for the Government to chart a different path from last year's divisive and unfair Budget. The pension changes, youth employment strategy and higher investment in child care show the way forward and are a welcome change of direction, reducing the Budget deficit without creating a fairness deficit."

"However, the Budget should be assessed as a whole - not just the changes announced tonight - and last year's Budget still casts a shadow over this one."

Read Full Statement here.

New childcare investment welcome, but overall package unfair

Responding to the announcement of the Federal Government's ‘Jobs for Families' package, ACOSS has welcomed the effort to simplify and strengthen the early childhood and education system but challenged the overall fairness of the package.

"These changes to child care announced yesterday will deliver a simpler system and increased investment in early years education and care. This is welcome. However, the benefits of the package will not be fairly shared," said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.

Read Full Statement here.

Step in right direction on retirement incomes, more to be done

ACOSS has welcomed the Federal Government's decision to drop its unfair proposal to cut the indexation of all pensions and instead tighten access to part-pensions for people with substantial assets.

ACOSS is also calling for broader social security reform to improve adequacy and indexation of the lowest payments and for action to reduce the cost of superannuation tax breaks.

"We are pleased the government is listening to the community on this important issue. It wasn't fair that people on the lowest incomes faced cuts to the maximum rate of pension while a couple with over a million dollars in assets other than their home still received part pensions and concessions," said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.

Read Full Statement here.

ACOSS office sublease

ACOSS is looking to sublet some of our office space in Redfern, Sydney.

Find out more here.

New Report calls for action on Negative Gearing and Capital Gains Tax

In a new report released today, ACOSS is calling for action to restrict tax deductions for negatively geared property investements and the 50% discount on capital gains tax, that are together costing the Budget $7 billion a year and fuelling housing price booms.

The report, ‘Fuel on the fire: Negative gearing, Capital Gains tax and housing affordability', dispels the myths that negative gearing makes rental housing more affordable and that the benefits mainly go to 'mum and dad' investors on middle incomes

Read Full Statement and Report here.

Budget must chart a fairer path back to surplus: ACOSS

ACOSS today urged the Federal Government to focus on restoring revenue by addressing inefficient tax arrangements, rather than through spending cuts, and chart a fairer path back to surplus in its second Budget.

In its Budget submission released today, the peak community sector body has identified more than $13 billion of potential savings in the next financialyear, rising to over $18 billion in 2016-17, through measures which it says restore the integrity of Australia's progressive tax system.

Find out more about ACOSS' Budget submission here.

Watch ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie video explaining ACOSS' Budget proposals to the media here.

80% of community services unable to meet demand

Monday December 8, 2014 - The largest survey of Australia's community services sector reveals that 80% of frontline agencies are unable to meet current levels of demand with the resources they have. The biggest gaps in meeting demand are in the areas of greatest community need.

the survey of almost 1,000 community service workers from around the country shows that 43% of services are simply unable to meet the needs of people coming to them for help. A further 37% can ‘almost' meet demand. Only 20% reported being able to meet demand fully.

Read Full Statement and DOWNLOAD REPORT.

2.5 million people living in poverty in Australia: ACOSS Report

Sunday 12 October 2014: ACOSS has released a new report revealing that poverty is growing in Australia with an estimated 2.5 million people or 13.9% of all people living below the internationally accepted poverty line.

The report provides the most up to date picture of poverty in the nation drawing on new data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Income and Expenditure Surveys for 2011-12 and previous years. It finds that 603,000 or 17.7% of all children were living in poverty in Australia.

"This is deeply disturbing and highlights the need for a national plan to tackle the scourge of poverty which diminishes us all in one of the wealthiest countries in the world," said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.

ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie launching 'Poverty in Australia 2014' report on Sunday October 12, 2014.

Read media release here | Read full report here.

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