ACOSS Reports & Submissions
Employment & Income Support
Entrenched unemployment is growing and of great concern: at January 2013 more than 500,000 people, or 64 per cent of all Newstart and Youth Allowance recipients, had been unemployed for more than a year.1 At August 2012, the average duration for people receiving Newstart was two years, or 104 weeks.2 At the same time, 34 per cent of all those receiving support from JSA providers had been unemployed for more than two years. The system is complex, over-engineered and under-resourced. Most people who are disadvantaged in the labour market do not receive the individual help they need. There is still too much focus on short term employment outcomes and too little on long term intensive work with people and employers to ensure that jobs are sustained. Much of the system is designed for the benefit of Government as ‘consumer’ of the services, not people looking for paid work or employers. We need to improve the resourcing of assistance for people who are long term unemployed. In the current system, support for Stream 3 and 4 jobseekers declines once they reach the 12 month point, meaning that those who are longest out of work receive less support.
The gap between pensions and allowances is increasing - due to the different indexation arrangements for pensions and allowances, the gap between the single pension and Newstart Allowance payments rose from $55 per week in September 2008 to $133 per week today. On current trends, by 2040 the single Newstart rate will be just half that of the pension. This submission looks at the inadequacy of allowance payments compared with pension payments, as well as living standards, work incentives, employment services and future reform. Recommendations for the 2013 Budget and for future reform are made. This is available in PDF format by clicking on the title above or in Word format here >>.
Australian Community Sector Survey 2013
We need YOUR help!
Did you know that there is only one major survey about our sector?
The ACOSS Australian Community Sector Survey (ACSS) is an annual survey of community services across Australia. It is used extensively in the media, in advocacy, by policy makers, policy analysts and academics. It is used to identify issues for our sector and the people we work with.Previous Australian Community Sector Surveys are available here.
One of the most important issues that we report on each year is how many people are being turned away from services and where there is unmet need.
The credibility of the survey rests on a good response rate from a wide range of organisations across the country.
We need you to complete the survey, giving us the best possible information about your client base, your organisation's sustainability and staffing. It takes a while, but it is vitally important.
You can complete the survey online or download a paper version that you can use to get input from a number of staff. Please note that will need to complete this manually or to complete in one go and then print out - this version will not save as a PDF form.
All responses are kept confidential. If you have any queries call ACOSS on 02 9310 6200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure our voice is heard!
ACOSS' Submission to the Senate Community Affairs Committee regarding the Social Security Amendment (Fair Incentives to Work) Bill (2012). Available as PDF (above) or as a Word document.
This briefing is provided for the community services sector ahead of the commencement of measures announced as part of the Clean Energy Future package. This briefing is concerned with some detail of the package; financial assistance for low income households and investments in energy efficiency. Parts of the package will commence from late May, notably the payment of cash assistance through the income support system. Changes to the personal taxation system will be effective from July. Work is well advanced towards new energy efficiency programs.
The initial ACOSS briefing on the 2012-13 Federal Budget. This briefing does not offer extensive comment on the merit or otherwise of these measures. The paper provides a general background on the Budget surplus, revenue and expenses, a table of ACOSS proposals that were announced in the Budget, and an outline of the key measures in ACOSS' major policy areas.
Action can be taken in this Budget to meet the most pressing social needs while at the same time restoring the Budget to surplus. This report identifies $8 billion of poorly targeted expenditure programs and tax breaks that could be cut and redirected to other priorities. Waste not, want not.
This report presents findings from a new study conducted by Saunders and Wong from the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC), that measured material deprivation in Australia by asking a random sample of Australian adults in 2010 what goods and services they regarded as essential (for example, a ‘decent and secure home’), whether they had those items, and if not whether this was because they could not afford them. For the purpose of this research, ‘multiple deprivation’ was defined as lacking three or more out of 24 items regarded by the majority of respondents as essential. Respondents were also asked whether they identified their household as ‘poor’.
The report is an analysis by ACOSS of data from the Poverty and Exclusion in Modern Australia (PEMA) survey, on material deprivation among households whose main source of income is an income support payment such as Age Pension or Newstart Allowance.
Submission to Fair Work Australia on minimum wages for 2012. Within this submission, ACOSS' recommendations focus on how the needs of people on low pay can best be assessed and the respective roles of wages and social security in sustaining a decent standard of living. Our starting point is that the Federal Minimum Wage (FMW) should be designed to at least provide a decent living standard, well above poverty levels, for a single adult and that the tax-transfer system should meet the basic costs of raising children in a low income family.
This submission is ACOSS' supplementary submission to the Senate Community Affairs Committee on the Social Security Legislation Amendment Bill 2011.
This submission explores measures affecting sole parents on income support, such as the changing of rules regarding eligibility for Parenting Payment Single as of 1 January 2013, which would result in a loss of up to $58 per week in income support for around 28,000 sole parents over the next 4 years; and measures affecting young unemployed people aged 21 years, whereby 21 year old unemployed people would lose access to Newstart Allowance and have to remain on the lower Youth Allowance for an extra year after they turn 21.