The NSW Budget should have made a greater investment in new social and affordable housing supply and delivered more targeted assistance to families doing it tough, according to the state’s peak social services organisation, NCOSS.
“This is a Budget focussed on big infrastructure initiatives and encouraging us all to get out, spend up and do our bit to revitalise the Sydney business district,” NCOSS CEO, Joanna Quilty said.
“But vouchers for swimming lessons, Friday lunches in the CBD and winter getaways aren’t much use to families struggling to keep a roof over their head.
“The Government talks a lot about supporting families, but this too often doesn’t target those most in need.
“We know the impacts of the pandemic haven’t been felt evenly, and while some households have seen their bank balances surge as a result of COVID, others have been hit hard.
“NSW now has an extra 28,000 recipients on JobSeeker compared to pre-COVID, not to mention those on low incomes or in insecure work who are living day to day.
“This is all happening while housing prices soar, affordable rentals become a thing of the past and rates of homelessness continue to climb.”
Ms Quilty said that investing in social housing is the one lever the Government should have pulled to address a range of social and economic issues and lift people out of disadvantage.
“Unfortunately, this Budget has not seized that opportunity and it is people in desperate need of stable and affordable housing who will pay the price,” she said.
“The Government is receiving rivers of gold through stamp duty, and we should have seen a substantial investment in new social and affordable housing to provide the most vulnerable in our community safety, security and the chance of a decent life.”
Ms Quilty acknowledged the boost in domestic violence funding which will assist services to better meet the surge in demand reported by those at the frontline.
“More funding for frontline domestic violence services is welcomed and will support these essential services to provide vital support that keeps women and children safe.”
For more information about NCOSS, visit www.ncoss.org.au
Media contact: Nick Trainor – 0407 078 138