SCOA Submission: Cost of Living

Mar 28, 2024 | Policy & Research

The Settlement Council of Australia (SCOA) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Senate Select Committee on the Cost of Living.

As part of this submissions, SCOA recommends the following measures to alleviate the costs of living pressures of vulnerable Australians, particularly recently arrived refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.

  1. Provide people seeking asylum access to mainstream social support services, work and study rights, access to Medicare and concession cards for the duration of their protection visa application process.
  2. Increase the supply of low-cost housing and prioritise first-time home buyers for allocation.
  3. Increase the amount of social security payments for all vulnerable Australians and index the rate regularly to reflect the rate of inflation.
  4. Increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance and index the rate regularly to reflect the rate of inflation.
  5. Increase the coverage hours of childcare subsidy, especially for disadvantaged migrant and refugee women, who might need additional support to join the Australian workforce.
  6. Maintain adequate funding for non-profit and community sector organisations.

SCOA is the peak body representing Australia’s migrant and refugee services and allied organisations. SCOA provides leadership to the settlement sector and broader society to enable people of migrant and refugee backgrounds to experience positive settlement outcomes. SCOA represents over 120 member organisations nationally, all working towards a shared vision for an Australia where all people of migrant and refugee backgrounds belong, thrive and experience fulfilling lives.