Justice, Opportunity and Shared Wealth for all South Australians

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Welcome to the SACOSS blog.

Tax changes necessary to close a rort

15 July 2019

Industry heads in Construction (Advertiser, 8 July), the Property Council and the developer lobby are issuing “dire warnings” mobilising against the changes to land tax announced in the state budget (Advertiser, 25 June). And why wouldn't they? In recent years business and vested interest mobilisations worked to defeat the many tax changes federally, and the bank tax in SA under the last government. The power of a well-funded scare campaign should not be underestimated, and some upper house MLC’s already seem to be succumbing.

Four Reasons Why Digital Transformation Matters for the Community Services Sector

28 February 2019

By Dr Greg Ogle, Senior Policy Officer, SACOSS

Not everyone can afford to be online

27 January 2019

Digital engagement can come at a hefty price for anyone who doesn’t have access to cheap and reliable data streaming or digital literacy.
The challenges get greater as more government services and businesses go online.
In the past month, how many of us registered our car, renewed our licence, registered with My Aged Care, got information fromCentrelink or the NDIS, or booked a show or holiday online?
Similarly, education has gone online and children also use it for sport and to maintain their friendships.

Petrol price volatility hits the poor hardest

22 November 2018

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.

The need to be online is blowing a hole in budgets of the poor: Better infrastructure and income support needed

15 October 2018

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

24 August 2018

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

29 May 2018

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

22 February 2018

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

30 January 2018

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

9 January 2018

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.

We...