Australia cannot have wellbeing while people still sleep in cars and go without meals
The Salvation Army welcomes the focus on measuring wellbeing in addition to economic factors set out in the October 2022 Budget.
Australia is more than an economy, we are a community. For a community to enjoy wellbeing we need to understand that every member of the community must have their needs met. At this time, Australians are not having their basic needs met.
Research from The Salvation Army shows that four out of five (80%) people accessing emergency relief had difficulty meeting basic living expenses such as housing, utilities, food and healthcare. Almost half of respondents went without meals, more than half could not afford medical or dental treatments when needed and over a third could not afford medicines prescribed to them by doctors.
Captain Stuart Glover, Secretary for Mission at The Salvation Army Australia says, “The concept of wellbeing is a powerful one, but it is very distant from the lived experience of people who seek our help.”
“Between now and the May budget, we estimate The Salvation Army will distribute around 70,000 emergency relief packages to people in need. Around 3,500 victim-survivors of family violence and their children will come to us for help and we will provide over half a million crisis beds for people experiencing homelessness. We will do all of this, and it still won’t be enough.”
Measuring wellbeing is a welcome and necessary step to improve the lives of everyone in our community but we need investment in social services and welfare reform now to achieve real change.