|The 2022 Federal Budget does not plan for Australia’s future; it is a budget for the short-term that has no solutions for the underlying structural pressures of rising living costs and flatlining wages faced by so many Australians.
While Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg talked up the uncertain times in which we all live – referencing the war in Ukraine, ongoing flooding on the East Coast and the global pandemic impacting all of us – he failed to address these big challenges in any meaningful way.
WACOSS CEO Louise Giolitto said the biggest issue for Australian families was the rising price of essential daily spending – particularly housing, as well as food, utilities and transport – at a time when income support payment are below the poverty line and wages continue to fall in real terms.
“While WACOSS welcomes any financial support offered to low and middle income Australians, a one-off handout won’t take the edge off most household budgets for more than a week or two and does nothing to address affordable housing which is the single biggest driver of hardship in WA,” Ms Giolitto said.
“Although they will cost more than $8 billion over the next two years, neither of the key short-term measures announced – the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset (LMITO) and fuel excise cut – are well targeted enough to provide impactful relief to those who genuinely need assistance.
“Ultimately, this federal budget fails to deliver long-term structural or systemic benefits for those in our community who are doing it the toughest. It does nothing the lift the incomes of those struggling the most or to reduce the costs of the biggest household budget pressure which is housing.”
“To this end WACOSS ask: what is the point in a big cash splash if it doesn’t address the biggest challenges – poverty, inequality and climate change – facing our community right now?”