Federal Budget has missed the mark

Samaritans has expressed disappointment following last night’s Federal Budget.

“We have looked beyond the budget numbers to the underlying policy indicators from the Morrison Government, and it’s a disappointing result,” Samaritans CEO, Brad Webb, said.

“Last night we saw no commitment from the Morrison Government to adequately support the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Samaritans Budget priorities for 2019 renewed calls from the previous year to strengthen the income safety nets of Newstart and Youth Allowance, for a review of Rental Assistance and to address the significant shortfall in social and affordable housing.

“This budget gave no commitment to ensure a roof over the heads of people facing housing stress or homelessness, nor did we see any policy indicator to ease the cost of living for those already living on or below the poverty line.

“The budget brought some welcome news for mental health and domestic violence services, as well as a commitment to funding the Disability Royal Commission, however, the budget has completely overlooked the desperate need for investment in social and affordable housing,” Mr Webb said.

“This budget marks the 25th in a row to refuse to deliver a real increase in Newstart. Every day we support people who are trying their hardest to find meaningful employment, keep a roof over their heads, put food on the table, and educate their children. They are the invisible people who have been completely overlooked in this year’s budget,” Mr Webb said.

Despite his disappointment, Mr Webb isn’t entirely surprised.

“We expected to get an election-focused Budget, and that’s what we got.

“We expect the Opposition Leader’s Budget Reply speech to also signal Labor’s policy priorities for the election. Samaritans will continue to monitor and critique policy from all parties in the interest of fighting for the best outcomes for locals in need,” he said.