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A Recovery For All Queenslanders

A Recovery For All Queenslanders2021-03-16T13:24:55+10:00
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Our plan for recovery

Recovery must be for all Queenslanders.

The economic challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic means more Queenslanders than ever are under financial pressure, and the economic recovery has a long way to go. Federal and State Governments must ensure that people affected by the downturn are not left behind.

The community sector provides support where it is needed most – in local communities across Queensland. The sector will stand beside Queenslanders and help them to engage in the recovery.

To make sure all Queenslanders can engage in the economic recovery, governments must partner with the community sector to put people at the centre of economic recovery plans and:

  1. Support the financial wellbeing of all Queenslanders
  2. Support local economies by creating jobs
  3. Ensure the community services sector can provide support to those who need it

We call on our politicians to:

FUNDING ACHIEVED IN DECEMBER 2020 STATE BUDGET – see our release.

With so many Queenslanders experiencing vulnerability due to COVID-19, we need to protect the financial wellbeing of Queenslanders from the economic downturn. We know that predatory lenders now have a larger base to target due to the significant increase of people who have lost their jobs in recent months. People without access to mainstream credit services should be able to access finance free from excessive fees and charges.

Everyone should have someone they can trust, who has their best interest at heart if they find themselves needing to access credit options. Funding No Interest Loans Scheme (NILS) providers at community organisations will assist to safeguard Queenslanders under financial pressure from predatory lenders and provide easier access to no interest loans for people in their communities.

Find out more about our campaign to fund the NILS Community Network.

Read our position paper on No Interest Loans Scheme funding.

Before the COVID pandemic, 15.3 per cent of Queenslanders were living in poverty and that number could increase dramatically considering the high unemployment figures in parts of regional Queensland. In December 2020, more than 332,000 Queenslanders received the JobSeeker or Youth Allowance payment.

Income support measures should be maintained at a level above the poverty line. We want to see the JobSeeker COVID supplement extended until there is a proper social safety net in place.

We know that when you support Queenslanders who are under financial pressure, that money goes back into the economy quickly. Maintaining JobSeeker supplement payments above the poverty line will continue to stimulate the economy and help increase resilience to economic shocks.

QCOSS supports the Raise the Rate for Good campaign. You can find out more information and get involved here.

SECOND WAVE OF BILL RELIEF COMMITTED TO BY STATE GOVERNMENT IN JULY 2020 – see our release.

Anyone can find themselves in financial crisis. We are deeply concerned about accumulated debt once financial institutions and essential services like energy and water companies wind up their financial hardship programs at the same time the JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments are due to wind back and then phase out.

To begin to address this, we want to see a second wave of bill relief for electricity and water customers focussing on vulnerable, low-income households as the unemployment rate continues to trend high.

Many thousands of Queenslanders have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and many more have seen a reduction in hours and pay. People were already struggling to keep a roof over their heads across the state, and the crisis has also put the spotlight on just how many Queenslanders are experiencing homelessness.

We can support local economies by creating good, secure jobs and also address the issue of housing stress and homelessness by building tens of thousands of affordable homes across the state so that all Queenslanders have a secure roof over their heads.

In our pre-budget submission to the Queensland Government we have outlined our proposal to build 30,000 social homes by 2025. Find out more.

Many people are living in homes that are too cold in winter and too hot in summer. We are advocating for all levels of government to invest in energy efficiency and solar for low-income households so that all Queenslanders can benefit from renewable technology and lower living costs.

People on low incomes are more likely to live in inefficient homes and cannot afford (or are unable in the case of renters) to improve efficiency. These impacts are felt more acutely during the COVID-19 crisis as people are spending more time at home.

Investment in energy efficiency and solar now would quickly create thousands of jobs (in training, auditing, installation, manufacturing and retail), increase household disposable incomes to spend in the economy (through reduced household energy costs), and lead to improved health and wellbeing. The investment would also deliver on other government priorities including reduced energy bills, cuts in carbon emissions and reduced load on the electricity grid.

Find out more about our proposal to invest in energy efficiency and solar for low-income households.

The community and charities sector contributes $128 billion to the national economy and accounts for more than 840,000 full-time equivalent workers.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the sector was under increased pressure. A report from ACOSS on the state of the community sector, released in March 2020, shows that only 5 per cent of services were able to meet demand, with 82 per cent of services reporting an increase in demand over the past year.

Many organisations are now seeing further increases in demand for their services due to the COVID pandemic and are working hard to address their community’s needs with the resources they have.

With high levels of poverty and unemployment, more Queenslanders will be turning to our services for support. We are calling for a Community Sector Resilience Fund for community organisations struggling to meet the growing demand created by the COVID-19 crisis.

Read about the Community Resilience Fund.

In our pre-budget submission to the Queensland Government we have outlined our Community Resilience Fund proposal. Find out more.

The community sector has played a central role in the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to do so as the state recovers.

Services like community health, domestic and family violence prevention, community and neighbourhood centres, community housing, and disability support organisations, have had to overcome significant service delivery challenges during COVID-19, while also experiencing increases in demand.

We are asking government to acknowledge the central role the community sector has played and ensure that everyone can engage in the recovery by guaranteeing existing funding arrangements for the community services sector.

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Important dates on the pathway out