Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

ACOSS comments misguided

“Australian Council of Social Services President Michael Raper has got his facts wrong in his attack on the Federal Government’s Budget,” said Community Services minister Larry Anthony.

“ACOSS claims there is no increase in social security payments, yet forgets the four per cent increase in pensions and the Government’s commitment to keep pensions two per cent ahead of increases in the Consumer Price Index – a commitment which is law,” said Mr Anthony.

Mr Anthony said ACOSS had missed: –

  • The $65.4 million provided for Greater Flexibility and Choice in Childcare, giving families (especially those on low incomes) the flexibility to better meet their childcare needs;
  • The new Child Care Benefit will simplify child care payments and increase the maximum rate of assistance to $122 a week for low income families;
  • Over the last three years this Government has spent more than $3 billion on child care, 20 per cent more than Labor’s last three years in office;
  • The Federal Government’s 18 per cent increase in the Supported Accommodation Assistance Program, providing $800 million over five years to the States, including $115 million for new services.

“This Government has helped unemployed people more than any other by bringing the unemployment rate down to its lowest levels in 10 years,” said Mr Anthony.

“We have helped families with $40 million over four years going to the Stronger Families Fund Initiative.

“Ultimately as a result of this Government’s tax reform package, most sole parent families will receive around $50 per fortnight in extra help from the Government.

“Anglicare has recognised this, stating the Government’s focus on families is a ‘positive first step’ in preventing family breakdown.

“ACOSS needs to recognise that this Government is about investing in people to improve themselves, rather than blindly throwing money at social problems and expecting them to solve themselves as Labor did over 13 years,” said Mr Anthony.