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The Federal Budget has failed to support the most vulnerable and invest in programs that will best stimulate the economy, according to the NSW Council of Social Services.

As well as failing to deliver a permanent, adequate JobSeeker rate, the Budget did not directly invest in social housing, which would have supported construction jobs and house the most vulnerable.

NCOSS CEO Joanna Quilty said the Budget was a missed opportunity and it now falls to the NSW Government to support the most vulnerable and invest in more social and affordable housing.

“By failing to deliver a permanent and boosted JobSeeker rate, the Federal Government leaves more than two million people receiving higher income support uncertain about their future.

“This means at the end of the year income support rates will go to their pre-COVID levels – which, for JobSeeker, was $40 a day.

“The failure to also invest directly in social housing is a missed opportunity to support the struggling residential construction sector, which will continue to struggle due to reduced immigration.

“We now look to the NSW Government to pick up the slack created by the Federal Government’s lack of action, particularly on social and affordable housing.

“The NSW Budget will he handed down on 17 November, it is crucial that the NSW Government tackle the issues that the Federal Budget did not.”

Ms Quilty also said it was vital that more investment is made in the social services industry and caring workforce.

“The social services industry is a major employer in its own right, it is highly feminised and is facing increased demand because of the recession,” she said.

“As well as this, we need to see greater investment in the caring workforce, such as aged care and child care, which are under pressure and need further support.

“Child care in particular has a crucial role to play in our economic recovery – supporting more parents into work.

“With such a high spending budget and the acceptance that record levels of debt are necessary to get us out of recession, it’s hugely disappointing that there is still no traction on key measures that would not only stimulate the economy and  deliver jobs but also support the most vulnerable and provide long lasting social benefits.”

 

Media contact: Nick Trainor 0407 078 138

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