Media release | Thursday 18 January 2024
ACOSS has written to the Prime Minister urging him to scrap the stage three tax cuts to fund a desperately needed cost of living package for people on lower incomes.
The letter, also sent to Treasurer Jim Chalmers, urges the government to fund income support payment increases, limit spiralling rents and write off energy debt for people in hardship.
“ACOSS is urging Labor to abandon these wasteful tax cuts to fund targeted relief for people on lower incomes,” ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie said.
“Stage three is a hand up to society’s wealthiest that will give people with incomes of $200,000 an extra $9,000 per year ($25 per day). Stage three will inject $21 billion into the economy, feed inflationary spending and compound cost of living pain for people with the least.
“If the government is serious about tackling inflation and delivering targeted relief, it should scrap stage three and also raise the rate of income support payments including JobSeeker from $54 to at least $78 a day.
“The upcoming May budget must provide meaningful cost of living relief for people with the least, including coordinated rent controls, electrification and solar retrofits for low-income homes and adequate funding for community service organisations to keep up with a tsunami of demand.”
ACOSS is calling on the government to:
Raise income support payments including JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, Austudy, Abstudy and Special benefit to at least $78 a day, in line with the pension;
Work with states and territories to limit rental increases to the rental component of CPI and end no grounds evictions;
Accelerate electrification and energy efficiency retrofits for low-income homes and write off energy debt for people in financial hardship;
Inject $1.6 billion into crisis services including financial and emergency relief, homelessness, community legal services and domestic and family violence;
Scrap the stage three tax cuts and redirect the savings into targeted cost of living relief.
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