Hand-wringing over the high cost of petrol does little to help those hardest hit by price volatility – but there are things governments can do to reduce cost-of-living pressures.
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Welcome to the SACOSS blog.
Petrol price volatility hits the poor hardest
The need to be online is blowing a hole in budgets of the poor: Better infrastructure and income support needed
This week is both Anti-Poverty Week and Get Online Week in Australia, so it’s a good time to ask how anyone can get by spending just $12 a week on telecommunications.
There’s no doubt telecommunications are essential in an age where government services, businesses, employment and education are all online, and much of our contact with friends and family rely on social media and digital communications. Recent SACOSS research shows that the average SA household spends $46 on telecommunications each week, equivalent to 3.2% of their disposable income. That was more...
Poverty figures paint a poor picture
Mahatma Gandhi famously said that a society can be measured by how it treats its most vulnerable.
While it follows from this maxim that lifting people out of poverty should be a priority, the reality is that governments rarely shine a light on this issue.
The issues are complex, and political life cycles often result in short term policy settings and programs which don’t give real and lasting solutions.
So we applaud the SA Parliament which is currently examining the extent of poverty in South Australia.
Hoax letter cheap shot at vital service
LAST week there was another appalling, anonymous attack on a vital inner-city homelessness service, with fake Hutt St Centre expansion letters sent to neighbours. It is heartening to see though that, by and large, most local residents and businesses aren’t being been swayed by these scare campaigns, lies and misinformation.
More forced removals an offensive kneejerk reaction: There are much better ways to help kids in danger
By Ross Womersley, CEO of The South Australian Council of Social Service
In light of the heartbreaking alleged rape of a toddler in Tennant Creek the kneejerk reaction –including in a prominent column in The Advertiser today – has been to call for even more Aboriginal children to be removed from their parents.
Laptops and internet are essential parts of education, yet not everyone can afford this technology
As children across South Australia return to school, many low income families will be struggling with the costs involved – even in our "free" public schools.
The ASG organisation, which is the largest provider of education scholarship plans in Australia, provides a handy education costs calculator and based on its own survey data. It estimates that getting back to school in Adelaide could cost on average $2,856 per primary school child per year and $4,865 for a secondary school student in public schools. It is obviously a lot more in faith-based and private...
Parties must relieve pressure on SA's struggling renters
With South Australian renters continuing to grapple with high utility costs, a good move would be to reverse a legislative change which hit tenants with water supply charges, writes Ross Womersley, CEO of the South Australian Council of Social Service
Cost of living issues are front and centre in the lead-up to the March state election.
Yesterday the Government began sending out letters to 169,000 South Australian households inviting them to take up a deal they have negotiated with Origin Energy offering an 18% discount on supply and usage, plus no exit fee.
Rejecting 'tough on crime'? That's political bravery!
Ross Womersley - CEO, SACOSS
With an election in the air, neither of the major parties wants to be in a position where the public can accuse them of being soft on crime. This is why the Opposition must be congratulated for having the courage to oppose the State Government’s tough new Bill for repeat offenders.
The Government’s response to a series of high-profile and tragic accidents caused by repeat young offenders was to seek harsher punishments and to treat children and young people as adults.
If not a bank levy, then what?
The big banks are lobbying against the State Government’s major bank levy, three crossbenchers (the Australian Conservatives, and John Darley) say they’ll oppose it, and the State Liberals are considering their position. But it is vital that all South Australians understand what is at stake.
2017-18 State Budget - SACOSS Opinion
Ross Womersley, CEO
SACOSS has mixed feelings towards this year’s State Budget which comes against a backdrop of sustained high unemployment and underemployment, and significant economic challenges, particularly in some of our regional areas.