The St Vincent de Paul Society says the Albanese Government’s claim that welfare payment increases are unaffordable and would fuel inflation “lacks economic sense” and is a “heartless response to the many Australians living at or below the poverty line”.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told a January 3 press conference that he had asked Treasury and Finance to investigate “measures that can take pressure off families on cost-of-living without putting pressure on inflation” ahead of the May Budget, Reuters reported.
“If you were just to distribute additional cash to people, you potentially make inflation worse, and therefore don’t help to solve the problem,” Mr Albanese said.
St Vincent de Paul Society national president Mark Gaetani, said: “While the Albanese Government acknowledges that many households are struggling, the time to take appropriate action is now, not in a few months’ time when the Budget is handed down.
“Phone calls from people seeking our assistance have risen alarmingly across Australia, by nearly 40 per cent in some places. Requests for emergency relief are also hitting highs, and not just in flood disaster zones.
“In this environment, claims that increases to welfare payments for 3.3 million men, women and children are unaffordable displays a complete lack of respect for those living in poverty.
“Moreover, it is a fallacy to say nothing can be done because increasing crucial supports like JobSeeker would only contribute to inflation and make matters worse. In a wealthy country this is completely unacceptable.”
Claims that welfare boost is ‘unaffordable’ don’t stack up (St Vincent de Paul Society)
Australia PM considers extra inflation relief as families struggle (By Renju Jose, Reuters)