The Salvation Army is describing the Government’s Budget 2022 as ‘underwhelming’ and ‘disappointing’ in terms of the level of immediate support provided to families struggling the most with the high cost-of-living and housing costs, while noting that there are some positive initiatives.
“The Budget’s cost-of-living relief package is welcome assistance for a large swathe of the population, but it is a short-term solution and specifically excludes vulnerable people such as those on a pension or benefit from receiving the one-off $350 payment,” says Lt. Colonel Ian Hutson, director of The Salvation Army’s Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit.
“Despite recent increases to benefit levels, The Salvation Army is seeing everyday people who are falling increasingly behind due to the ever-rising cost of living and unsustainably high rental costs. These people needed a major boost in this Budget that they did not receive.”
The Budget did deliver some relief for marginalised communities, with Lt. Colonel Hutson pointing to the extension of half-price public transport for Community Service Card holders; the increase in the value of dental grants for low-income families; the change to child support payments; and help for young people to get their driving licence.
“We also welcome the Budget measures in the housing space, with the housing-related hardship assistance likely to be of immediate, practical help to individuals with the initial costs of getting into rental property. Other initiatives relating to homelessness, emergency housing, social housing, and affordable rental housing—although longer-term—are also positive steps forward.”
For enquiries contact: The Salvation Army Territorial Media Officer, 021 945 337, email: email@example.com (The Media Officer responds to enquiries from media outlets and journalists. If you would like to donate, are in need of help, or have some other non-media-related enquiry, please call 0800 53 00 00.)