Justice, Opportunity and Shared Wealth for all South Australians

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State budget a genuine opportunity to do more for those most in need

Thursday's budget represents an opportunity for the SA government to provide meaningful assistance to those South Australians on lower incomes who are being hardest hit by rises to the cost of living.

The South Australian Council of Social Service says while it will welcome any measures that provide short-term cost-of-living relief, the Budget must also focus on longer-term areas of need for South Australians doing it the toughest.

In its 2024-25 budget submission, SACOSS highlighted four areas in which it expects to see government action:

  • Housing: building at least 1000 public and community houses per year for the next four years and addressing the maintenance backlog in existing housing
  • Human Services: addressing the mental health funding gap, with the government's Unmet Needs report identifying some 19,000 South Australians are currently not receiving the mental health care they need
  • Concessions: systemic reform of state-based concessions, following on from the government's review of the system across 2023-24. In this time and alongside the review, SACOSS conducted research of community attitudes to concessions. This research found a strong appetite for the system to be made fairer with more concessions available for those who need them most. 
  • Regional South Australia: an investment in getting more people online across regional South Australia, particularly through extra funding to regional libraries and community centres

Quotes attributable to SACOSS CEO Ross Womersley

Budgets are more than big numbers and their accompanying big announcements. At their heart, budgets are about the choices that governments make. These choices really show what any Government's priorities are.

This Thursday we’ll be asking if one of this Government's priorities is making life better for all South Australians – especially those South Australians on the lowest of incomes currently doing it the toughest.

We are hopeful of seeing systemic concessions reform that makes the government's discounts and rebates fairer and available to more South Australians who need them.

We would also like to see appropriate funding for the 19,000 South Australians currently not receiving the mental health services and support they need.

And investment would be welcomed in helping South Australians living in regional areas get online and then navigate a world where government, financial and telecommunication support and services are becoming increasingly digital-only.

Thursday's budget is an opportunity for the Malinauskas government not only to continue to address the cost-of-living challenges all South Australians face - but to go even further to ensure it most benefits South Australians who are doing it the toughest.

Published Date: 
Tuesday, 4 June 2024