Senate Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Strengthening Income Support) Bill 2021 (Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee)
In February 2021, the Senate referred the social Services Legislation Amendment (Strengthening Income Support) Bill 2021 to the senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report. The Committee received almost 400 submissions from both individuals and organisations.
The Salvation Army made a submission to the week-long inquiry into the Strengthening Income Support Bill, which primarily sought to permanently increase working age payments by $50 per fortnight and the ordinary income-free area by $44 per fortnight.
The submission focussed on the two proposed increases and:
- Reaffirmed The Salvation Army’s position that an increase of at least $250 per fortnight to the base rate of the JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance is needed to allow people to live with frugal dignity.
- Expressed concern that the income-free threshold would no longer be subject to indexation.
- Called for a broader reform of the welfare system to actually support people to move back into work.
The Committee report
A final report was delivered in March 2021, where the committee recommended that the Bill be passed. The Salvation Army will continue to advocate for and support members of our community on income support beneficiaries.