Budget doesn’t deliver support for vulnerable families and households

The NSW Budget has fallen short on funding to address the risks of abuse, neglect and homelessness, says Greens MP and spokesperson on Family and Community Services, Jan Barham.

“The Budget was an opportunity to deliver much-needed increases for services that support disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, but new announcements in this area were in short supply. It’s a disappointing underinvestment in prevention, which will mean too much of the burden continues to fall on crisis services,” Ms Barham said.

“We know from the experts and the evidence that early intervention and prevention services are crucial to long-term reductions in harm to children, and to tackling the alarming number of children in out-of-home care. But the funding to these services and the number of families they reach will be largely unchanged under next year’s forecast.”

Ms Barham also noted that the Budget offered little to address the housing needs of those most vulnerable to homelessness.

“Although funding to homelessness services will continue for another year under a transitional National Partnership Agreement, the long-term solution is to deliver more options for people to access social and affordable housing. The announcement of several initiatives, each of which will deliver only a few hundred dwellings, won’t do enough to help the tens of thousands of people on the waiting list for social housing,” Ms Barham said.

“Government must work to reduce the harm and hardship experienced by our society’s most vulnerable. Keeping families safe and together, and ensuring they have a stable home, are fundamental aims that needed more investment than this Budget delivered.”

For Further Comment, please contact Jan Barham directly on 0407 065 061