As the clock winds down on the Queensland election campaign and costings are released, Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS) CEO Aimee McVeigh is urging Labor and the LNP to commit to no funding cuts for the community services sector and to building more social housing.
“The number of people who rely on the JobSeeker payment in Queensland has more than doubled since the beginning of the year – 352,221 in September 2020, 166,814 in December 2019,” Ms McVeigh says.
“In the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression we need to be sure that the community sector is there to support all Queenslanders.”
A study from QCOSS, UNSW and our state and territory counterparts found demand has increased for the majority of our services since COVID began. This will only continue to grow as the number or people who rely on the JobSeeker payment in Queensland has more than doubled since the beginning of the year
“Our sector is helping Queenslanders with increasingly more complex circumstances and we need to see boosts in funding to keep up with demand.
“As we get closer to both parties releasing their election commitment costings, Labor and the LNP must promise not to cut funding for the essential community services sector.”
Ms McVeigh has also called out both parties for their inaction on housing security.
“It is disappointing that both Labor and the LNP have failed to announce a response to the 37 per cent of low-income households that are experiencing housing stress,” Ms McVeigh says.
“More than 25,000 families are on the social housing waitlist, and 22,000 people are sleeping rough every night in our state.
“Committing to building 500 dwellings per year for five years is not enough, partnering with developers to develop build to rent dwellings is not enough.
“QCOSS has advocated on the issue of building more social housing for years. The business case is clear – thousands of jobs will be created during a recession and there will be widespread benefits and improved health and wellbeing for all Queenslanders. What are the major parties waiting for?”