Labor-Greens Government must provide more support to vulnerable Canberrans


Canberra Liberals Leader Elizabeth Lee will today call on the ACT Labor-Greens Government to undertake a full review of the purpose, adequacy, fairness and impacts of the ACT Targeted Assistance Strategy.

Ms Lee said a full review of the strategy, implemented in 2011 will ensure concessions are properly targeted to those in need.

“Currently in the ACT, 38,000 Canberrans are living in poverty, including 9300 children which equates to almost 10 per cent of the total population,” Ms Lee said.

“Loss of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ACT lockdown have also disproportionately affected some of our most vulnerable Canberrans.

“Families and low income households in the ACT have, for many years been hit hardest by cost of living pressures, now exacerbated by the economic impacts of COVID-19.”

The ACT Council of Social Services (ACTCOSS) 2021 Cost of Living Report highlights steep increases to cost of living as a driving factor for high rates of poverty in the ACT including.

  • 27.7 per cent increase to electricity costs over five years;
  • 26.2 per cent increase to gas costs over five years;
  • 18.6 per cent increase to health costs over five years;
  • 18 per cent increase to education costs over five years, and
  • 15.7 per cent increase to housing costs over five years.

“Every Canberran is feeling these increases in their household budgets, but for those on low incomes it is absolutely dire,” Ms Lee said.

“This is a direct result of the ACT Labor-Greens Government’s failure to ensure those most vulnerable in our community are able to make ends meet.

“There are many levers within the purview of the ACT Labor-Greens Government to address poverty and for too long they have neglected those most vulnerable in the community,” concluded Ms Lee.

The motion also calls on the government to report back to Assembly on progress of the review in March 2022 and ensure concessions are targeted to those in need by June 2022.