UnitingCare Australia is urging the Albanese Labor Government to fund what matters to improve the well-being of millions of Australians in the May Federal Budget.
“Putting wellbeing at the heart of policy will create economic systems that are sustainable and geared toward a better, fairer Australia,” said National Director, Claerwen Little.
“The well-being of millions of Australians is at stake, and we cannot afford to wait any longer to address the spiralling cost of living.”
One in four Australians report difficulties in getting by on their current income as the country faces the largest increase in cost of living since the year 2000. Financial stress is higher than ever before, and Australians regularly face making a choice between groceries and rent, or heating and medicine.
Community services are facing an unprecedented challenge with accelerating demand placing mounting pressure on an already stretched workforce.
“Urgent investment is required to address the compounding issues of rising operational costs, increasing service demand, the growing complexity of client needs and, most significantly of all, staffing crises,” said Ms Little.
In the 2023-24 Pre-Budget Submission, UnitingCare Australia highlights the need to address the crisis in aged care that continues to impact older Australians and dedicated care workers who are undervalued and underpaid.
“We urge the Government to fully fund the 15% wage rise, including oncosts, from 30th June this year. Aged care workers deserve a pay rise,” said Ms Little.
“We’re also calling for a dedicated Deputy Commissioner for the Care Sector within Jobs and Skills Australia to support and strengthen the care workforce – the fastest growing sector.
“And in order to fund the services Australians need, we need a fairer taxation system, and we must scrap the Stage 3 tax cuts.
“As a country, we need to fund what matters and prioritise wellbeing to build a better, fairer Australia”.
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