|State budget threats to not for profit services|
27 April 2005
The Council of Social Service of NSW (NCOSS) has called on NSW Treasurer, Andrew Refshauge, to quarantine Government programs that fund the State's not for profit human services sector from any savings measures in the May NSW Budget.
"NCOSS has been told that Treasury is seeking so called efficiency dividends of 5% and above from several NSW Government departments as part of finalising this year's Budget," said NCOSS Director, Gary Moore.
"The impact of such a cut on the estimated $1.5 billion of State funds currently provided to community organisations that provide a massive array of front line services across NSW would be disastrous."
"An analysis of cost increases faced by not for profit human services indicates over the past 2 years that they have had to deal with wage increases above 4% pa, insurance premium hikes generally well above 10% pa and information technology upgrading and maintenance costs of several thousands of dollars each year."
"At the same time, most of the major NSW Government funding departments have barely provided the official inflation figure (currently 2.2%) for indexing these funding programs."
"In the case of major funders such as the Departments of Community Services and Ageing, Disability and HomeCare, they have delivered much less than inflation increases in each of the last two years."
"Treasury must understand that the vast majority of the State's not for profit human services organisations are small and medium in size with little or no capacity to deliver major efficiencies."
"Unlike for profit businesses and Government Trading Enterprises, these organisations cannot slug their clients with fees, raise major loans or make speculative investments to generate revenue to make up for Government funding cuts."
"The parlous state of Government funding assistance to many of this State's key front line not for profit human services is another big test for the recently elevated NSW Treasurer."
"In a pre Budget environment dominated by talk on tax, Dr Refshauge must respond positively to the legitimate and modest needs of this State's 7000 not for profit human services agencies," added Mr Moore.