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2010 Budget priorities for action

 UnitingCare Australia National Director, Susan Helyar, said the 2010 Federal Budget must deliver for low income, socially marginalised people. Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Budget, Ms Helyar outlined UnitingCare Australia’s three priorities.

“The Government must address the growing demand for relevant services for older Australians and for people who are socially and economically excluded,” Ms Helyar said. “Income support justice must also be addressed.

“Compulsory income quarantining must stop, the disparity in welfare payments must be addressed and getting rid of existing poverty traps for people moving from welfare to work is a difficult but urgent issue.

“Our third priority is the sustainability of the social services agencies that provide the majority of care and support to vulnerable Australians.

“The value of tax concessions for not-for-profit services must be restored and improved.

“Red tape must be reduced and the cost of seeking and reporting on funding must be addressed.

“And the complexity and costs of regulatory compliance must be reduced.

“We support the establishment of a National Charities Commission.

“The social services sector has engaged enthusiastically in the Government’s ambitious review and reform agenda over the past couple of years. We look forward to evidence that that process will deliver significant reform in the 2010 Budget,” Ms Helyar said.

UnitingCare Australia provides services to over 2 million Australians each year from 1,300 sites across metropolitan, regional and remote communities. The network employs 35,000 people and is supported by the work of 24,000 volunteers.