The Salvation Army considers the 2019 Federal Budget to be a missed opportunity to address the most pressing drivers of disadvantage in Australia.

The forecast return to surplus provided the Federal Government with an avenue to lift the burden of poverty from the most vulnerable Australians who rely on New Start and the Youth Allowance.

The Salvation Army’s Head of Government Relations, Major Brad Halse, says “The Salvation Army stands with the community and social services sector in calling for an end to the quarter of a century of stagnation of New Start and the Youth Allowance.

Enough time has passed for a government of any persuasion to rectify this important issue which impacts more than 600,000 Australians, at any one time.

The Salvation Army’s General Manager of Policy and Advocacy, Jennifer Kirkaldy says “a fair and reasonable budget needs to consider all segments of our society.

We would have welcomed a far greater commitment to alleviating poverty and disadvantage in Australia, including commitments to a review of the welfare system, increased focus on mental health, financial counselling, housing and homelessness.

Although we welcome the Government’s recognition of the need to address the pressure of rising costs of living, this budget represents a missed opportunity for Australia’s most vulnerable.”