1. Raising the rate of income support
- Increase the rate of JobSeeker, Youth Allowance and other income support payments to at least $70 a day, further supplement the incomes of people with additional living costs, including people with disability, and index all payments to wages as well as prices.
I agree with this. When payments were increased at the beginning of the pandemic, it gave temporary relief to millions of Australians and allowed them to experience for the first time, or remember living without the constant stress of not being able to afford essentials.
There is no reason why any Australian should be living in poverty.
2. Affordable housing solutions
- Provide a 50% increase to the Commonwealth Rent Assistance Payment.
- Introduce incentives to bring more private housing stock into the long-term rental market.
Yes, this could be a mixture of tax incentives for houses that are offered for 12 months or more. This incentive could increase if leases were made for longer than 12 months. On the flipside disincentives could be introduced such as a vacancy tax (although this would be a state tax).
- Deliver incentives to shift investment in rental housing from individual to institutional options.
Not sure how this would be done.
- Boost investment in social housing to deliver a pipeline of new stock as part of a national housing strategy.
Yes, absolutely and I would also push for 15% of any any residential housing development to be set aside for social and affordable housing.
3. Investment in household energy efficiency and the reduction of energy debt
- Commit to the Commonwealth and Tasmanian governments working together to fund a program of investment in energy efficiency upgrades and improvement for existing homes of Tasmanians on low incomes, together with minimum energy efficient standards for rental properties.
- Provide additional financial support of up to $1,000 per household experiencing payment difficulties and energy debt.
4. Increasing digital skills and affordability
- Introduce a telecommunications concession to support people on low incomes to access data services.
- Provide funding for community-based digital skills and education programs to support identified priority groups at higher risk of digital exclusion.
Yes, we are experiencing a digital divide in Tasmania. It exists across the state but particularly in the North-West.
5. Improved access to dental health care
- Commit to a long-term funding model that doubles the number of Tasmanian adults who can access Commonwealth/State funded public dental health services, including ensuring access to Tasmanians living in rural and regional areas.
- Fund a sustainable public dental workforce to meet the oral health needs of Tasmanians and provide best practice care that ensures the oral health of Tasmanians improves.
- As a step towards a universal scheme, establish a Seniors Dental Benefit Scheme to make oral health and dental care more accessible to all older Australians as recommended by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
Yes, and I would advocate for dental and mental to be covered by Medicare.