The recently announced federal budget has left many of us disappointed. Those on low income will continue to struggle under this budget, as Newstart benefits remain woefully inadequate; further locking struggling Australians into a cycle of financial insecurity.

In response to the federal budget, CISVIC’s Kate Wheller wrote this letter to The Age, “The budget: A slap in the face for those on low incomes”. We’ve included the letter, below.

The Morrison government’s budget is disappointing for Australian citizens on low incomes. In particular, it is devastating that there is nothing for people on Newstart benefits, struggling to survive and make a life on $39 a day. Our CISVic agencies help these people every day with material aid, information and support – but the basic problem is they just do not have enough to live on. More people are coming to us for the first time, having encountered life difficulties such as retrenchment after a long stretch of productive work. Often their stories reflect day-to-day humiliations and isolation such as being unable to socialise because they can’t afford a coffee, or not having the funds for hygiene products. Then there are the numerous accounts of disconnected utilities, homelessness (increasingly for older women), and children going without books, excursions and uniforms that fit. The Newstart rate needs to be raised as a matter of urgency.

Kate Wheller, EO, Community Information and Support Victoria

Kate also sent letters to key opposition members before the budget reply by Bill Shorten. These letters addressed the need for a raise to Newstart and associated payments and also the need for investment in social housing.

So this is a call to action! We need to keep up the pressure and use what influence we have with local politicians.

Here are key links to take action:

Take action with ACOSS’s Raise the Rate campaign

Write to your local Member of Parliament

To gain more support, and help the campaign, make sure to call your friends and family to action over social media, and share Kate’s letter.