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Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment

The Salvation Army welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Family Payments Structural Reform and Participation Measures) Bill (No.2) 2015. This submission will respond to the implications of the proposed changes as they directly relate to the many families The Salvation Army supports.

The Salvation Army is one of Australia’s largest social service providers, supporting some of the most disadvantaged and socially excluded individuals and families in our community. The Salvation Army Australia has an annual operating budget of approximately $700 million and provides more than 1,000 social programs and activities through a network of social support services, community centres and churches nationally.

In the past 12 months, The Salvation Army Australia provided more than one million occasions of service to people in need. The Salvation Army works with individuals who, due to life experiences and events, often have inadequate education and training, poor health, and a sense of powerlessness that compromises their capabilities and opportunities to fully participate in the community.

Proposed amendments

The Salvation Army understands that the following four themes serve to describe the context and rationale of the measures:

• Encourage greater workforce participation as children enter secondary schooling
• Provide the savings necessary to pay for childcare reforms
• Act as part of efforts to enhance the long-term sustainability of the social security system
• Respond to increased government spending on FTB as a proportion of GDP