Budget surplus means nothing when the housing system is broken

3 April 2019

Media release

“It is no surprise that the Budget announcement had nothing on housing,” said Kate Colvin, campaign spokesperson for Everybody’s Home, a national alliance of community, housing and homelessness organisations.

“The Treasurer’s budget announcement yesterday has shown just how little the Coalition Government cares about its most vulnerable.

“Unfortunately, for the 116,00 people that experience homelessness on any given night, or the 800,000 that go without the basics such as food to pay rent, a forecasted surplus means very little.

“Last year, shocking Census data revealed that homelessness in Australia had increased by 14% nationally and by 22% for people between 19 and 24. The 2018-19 Budget had nothing for our population experiencing homelessness, and this Budget has been no different.

“More people are struggling to afford the private rental market and the demand for affordable or social rental properties is outstripping supply. This chronic shortage of social and affordable housing is forcing record levels of homelessness.

“For those seeking to rent a home on low income, there are over 200,000 people waiting for social housing with a wait time often exceeding 10 years.

“This Budget has just continued this Government’s trend of cuts to housing and homelessness which is now 15% less than what was spent in 2013-14. The deepest cuts have been in critical funding for remote Indigenous housing. Funding for desperately needed housing to address existing overcrowding has been cut.

“It’s appalling that, even with the knowledge of these shocking figures of homelessness and of our housing crisis, yet this year’s Budget has still chosen to favour property investors by continuing negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions.

“The Federal Government continues to prop up the property sector with $11.8 billion in tax breaks but there’s nothing for ordinary Australians and renters who just want a home.

“Announcing a forecasted surplus while making cuts to essential housing and homelessness services is not only meaningless for those struggling in our broken housing system, it is a deliberate and targeted insult. The Coalition Government is sending a very clear message that they do not care about our most vulnerable experiencing housing stress or homelessness.

“We will continue to campaign against this harmful message, and when the Prime Minister decides to call an Election, we will continue to demand that our elected leaders fix this broken housing system.

The Everybody’s Home campaign called on the Prime Minister and Treasurer to rebalance the budget. The campaign’s asks are available here.



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