Unjust decisions harm children and the frail aged
29 May 2000
Following last week's State Budget, the Council of Social Service of NSW (NCOSS), will ask the Carr Government to urgently correct two decisions which will damage the well-being of many children, aged and disabled people in NSW.

"The first harmful decision involves families and children who use vacation care during school holidays," said NCOSS Director, Gary Moore.

"During the September Olympics period, schools in NSW will have an extra week's holiday (3 weeks in total)."

"Despite representations made by childcare, parent and peak welfare organisations over the past six months, the NSW Government has refused to provide the extra funding to vacation care centres for this mandatory extra week of holidays."

"Up to 70,000 children, and their families, will be disadvantaged by this decision. About $238,000 is required to enable the 331 NSW Government funded vacation care services to operate for this week. A further $133,000 is needed from the Commonwealth Government, so that its funded centres can also operate."

"NCOSS wonders where our priorities lie, if, during the same period, $70 million can be found to ferry IOC members and the extensive Olympic family around Sydney."

"The second harmful decision concerns the 10,000 people who, for a variety of reasons, including mental health problems, frailty, disability and dementia, have their financial and other affairs managed by the NSW Protective Commission."

"NCOSS understands that about 50% (5,000) of these people rely on an invalid, aged or disability pension as their sole or principal source of income."

"The NSW Protective Commission charges a 2.5% levy on its clients income to manage their affairs. We understand that the GST will be applied to this levy after 1 July 2000. For pensioner clients of the NSW Protective Commission, this is a savage blow."

"Not only will these most vulnerable people lose more of their pension through the increased levy, but, ironically, because their pensions will be increased by 4% from 1 July, the loss of income through a larger levy will be even greater."

"Both of these damaging and unjust decisions need immediate reversal," added Mr Moore.