In supporting people to reach their full potential, we cannot ignore the structural barriers to participation that many people face, including poverty, locational disadvantage, a lack of appropriate housing and a social safety net that has been chronically underfunded.
The imperative to address these factors underlines Jesuit Social Services’ submission to the 2020-21 Federal Budget.
In our submission, we call for:
- a fairer social security system that enables people to maintain an adequate standard of living while they look for employment;
- a National Housing Strategy to meet the identified shortfall of 500,000 social and affordable homes over the next ten years;
- reform of the employment services system to move away from inflexible obligations and excessive penalties that are simply punishing people who are not in work;
- a federal social procurement policy in order to positively impact social outcomes, with concrete employment targets for people experiencing barriers to inclusion;
- secure, long-term funding for postvention services, including access to postvention services for people who are bereaved by suicide in regional and rural areas; and
- dedicated investment in better understanding the behaviours and attitudes of men and boys in order to reduce violence against women and children.
Our submission also includes recommendations on settlement services, ecological justice, people seeking asylum and gender justice.
In devising this next Federal Budget, Jesuit Social Services calls on the government to devote resources and implement policies and practices that reduce inequality, prejudice and exclusion and that help ensure people on the margins of society are given every opportunity to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.