The Budget must not lose sight of those in need

Baptist Care Australia is urging the Government to approach this week’s Federal Budget with a spirit of compassion and generosity to those in the Australian community most in need of Government support.

Baptist Care Australia and the Australian Baptist community acknowledge the 2016-17 Budget is being framed under difficult financial constraints, amid concerns that revenue growth will not be enough to meet community expectations.

Baptist Care Australia also acknowledges the efforts of the Australian Government to manage the resources entrusted to it by the Australian people.  The Baptist Care Australia community partners with the Government to support some of the most disadvantaged people in Australia,

Under these conditions, the priority for the Budget must be that any changes on either the revenue or expenditure side be directed towards those in the community most in need.

When it comes to prioritising spending and savings, the priority must be to support those who can least support themselves.

In its pre-budget submission Baptist Care Australia urged the Government to act on these priority areas:

Homelessness

  • Extend the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness for a further five years

  • Allocate $30 million for operational funds to service providers to run evidence-based pilot programs refining service delivery and ending homelessness

Domestic and Family Violence

  • Double the investment in the domestic and family violence awareness campaign announced in the last Federal Budget

  • Provide $150 million over two years specifically to support victims of domestic and family violence access essential services, particularly legal and housing support

Food Security

  • Immediately increase current Emergency Relief Funding allowances by 10 per cent.

  • Develop specific emergency relief initiatives targeting rural and remote communities where food supply is of critical importance

Disability

  • Ensure the Department of Social Services is adequately resourced to implement and fund the six priority areas of the National Disability Strategy

  • Bring forward the second tier of funding under the Information Linkages and Capacity Building program to the 2016-17 Budget

Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Settlement

  • Commit to funding of settlement service providers for case management support

  • Continue funding peak bodies involved in giving a voice to refugees and asylum seekers to ensure their voices are heard at a national level

Baptist Care Australia supports budget initiatives providing a safety net for the disadvantaged, enabling social investment, promoting innovation and displaying Australia’s commitment to the international context.

Baptist Care Australia supports budget initiatives increasing the opportunities presented by social impact principles and projects to attract additional capital from other sources (e.g., private markets, equity partners) and to deliver more innovative and cost effective social benefit services.

The Baptist Care Australia community partners with the Government to support some of the most disadvantaged people in Australia,

While the Baptist Care Australia secretariat receives no funding and does not seek it, we support budget measures designed to recognise the importance of other advocacy groups also seeking to give a voice to those who are unable to advocate for themselves.

Our members bring life-enriching care to their clients, residents, families and communities.  Our care for people arises from our belief that God desires wholeness in all aspects of life.  Our collective mission is to express Christ’s love as we serve people and includes addressing their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.   We are a significant member of our civil society, contributing substantially to the economic, physical and spiritual well-being of our community.  The members of Baptist Care Australia have an annual turnover of around $0.6 billion, employ around 7,000 staff, and engage with almost 2,000 volunteers annually. We deliver services direct to tens of thousands of individuals nationally.   Our members are actively involved in the provision of home services and residential aged care, homelessness services, care services for young people under guardianship, refugee and asylum seeker services, disability support services and Food for Life programs to vulnerable communities 

Carolyn Kelshaw, Executive Director Baptist Care Australia.

 

Read more at https://www.baptistcareaustralia.org.au/news/the-budget-must-not-lose-sight-of-those-in-need

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