9 May 2024

"If we choose to sustain the status quo on income support, we will entrench poverty for years to come," Claire Robbs.

Image: A woman with curly blonde hair is standing on a pier and holding a baby in a pink jumper. A young boy with red hair is in front of them looking at the water.

Amidst the deeply distressing rates of increased violence against women and children, it is imperative that more is done to address the financial insecurity of women across the country.

Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) have urged the government to ensure that people experiencing poverty, disadvantage and hardship are a top priority in next week's Federal Budget.

Dr Cassandra Goldie AO, ACOSS CEO said; “We cannot end violence against women without addressing poverty. The fastest and most effective way to end poverty is by lifting JobSeeker and Youth Allowance payments so they are enough for women to live in safety and with dignity.”

More than 300 sector leaders have called for the Federal Government to provide economic security for people leaving violent situations by raising the rate of Jobseeker and Youth Allowance.  

You can read the letter and add your support here.

Claire Robbs, Chief Executive of Life Without Barriers, has supported this call saying, "The poverty of domestic and family violence is multifaceted."

"Life Without Barriers are providing a very enthusiastic backing of the call for an increase in Jobseeker and Youth Allowance in this Federal Budget so the more than 500,000 women affected by the serious constraints of current income support payments can have options that are denied to them right now.

"If we choose to sustain the status quo on income support, we will entrench poverty for years to come," Claire Robbs.

ACOSS has also released a statement with recommendations for the May 2024 Budget. You can find the full statement in the resource section below.

The major recommendations cover:

  • Building a social security system that meets needs;

  • Employment opportunities for all, with no one left behind;

  • Building thriving, climate-resilient communities;

  • Investing in quality community services to help people in need;

  • Make housing affordable for people with low incomes;

  • A fairer tax system that supports services, safety nets and economic development;

  • Decent retirement incomes and services.

Life Without Barriers supports the above recommendations from ACOSS and also hopes to see governments take further action to Close the Gap and to deliver on Voice, Treaty and Truth.

Antoinette Braybrook AMD, Djirra CEO, signed the letter and said "Fixing the shockingly low rate of Jobseeker and Youth Allowance is an easy yet long overdue step towards saving Aboriginal women’s lives.”

ACOSS is a national advocate supporting people affected by poverty, disadvantage and inequality, and the peak council for community services nationally.

We are committed to Reconciliation

Learn more about our commitment to Reconciliation through our Reconciliation Action Plan

Related Stories