UnitingCare Australia is today encouraged by the Government’s response to the coronavirus crisis, but has called for further details and investment in measures that provide targeted and longer-term support to those most in need.
Whilst immediate and temporary measures are welcome, the effects of this crisis, along with the bushfires and other economic pressures, will not be temporary or short term.
Comments on Economic Response
“The additional $750 one-off payment for income support and pension recipients is vital, as we know that for those families and individuals on the lowest incomes every dollar counts”, said Claerwen Little, National Director of UnitingCare Australia.
“The one-off payment is unfortunately only a temporary measure. We need an ongoing increase to income support payments to lift people out of poverty and enable them to live with dignity.
“UnitingCare Australia are encouraged by the support for regions and communities most affected by coronavirus, however we need to see more detail to ensure this support is targeted and accessible to those most vulnerable and in greatest need”.
UnitingCare Australia also noted the Government’s stated commitment to lift productivity to enable sustained economic growth beyond this immediate crisis.
“We would urge the Government to invest in social and affordable housing as a key way to not only lift productivity and contribute to sustained economic growth, but to also provide an ongoing social benefit to communities”, said Ms Little.
Comments on Aged Care Response
As one of the largest networks of aged care service providers, the UnitingCare Australia network is readying itself to respond to the Government’s $101.2 million boost to aged care.
“The additional funding is welcome, but must be responsive to need, if and when demand increases, to ensure we can continue to provide high quality, safe and personal care for our older people and protection and support for our valued workforce.
“We appreciate the Department of Health’s partnership approach and their ongoing commitment to collaborating with the sector. We all need to pull together and support each other at this critical time”, said Ms Little.