With the Greater Sydney lockdown expected to be extended for another four weeks, those on income support payments, many of whom have lost work hours, must get access to the disaster payment.
That’s the call from the NSW peak body for social services, NCOSS, as frontline organisations across the region report increasing demand for basic goods and services, like food staples.
NCOSS CEO Joanna Quilty said the Federal Government needed to urgently increase financial assistance to those in desperate need across Greater Sydney.
“Our members, the frontline community services on the ground in Greater Sydney, are seeing rapidly rising demand from families struggling with the economic and social impact of the current lockdown,” Ms Quilty said.
“With the lockdown expected to extend for another four weeks, we need urgent financial assistance delivered to stop people sliding into poverty throughout Greater Sydney.
“The Federal Government needs to step up to the plate and ensure that those on income support payments, many of whom have also lost work hours, have access to the more generous disaster payments, which would be a lifeline for households in desperate need.
“We know that many on social security rely on paid work to supplement their income support so that they can pay the rent and put food on the table. But despite losing work hours they can’t access the disaster payments available to others.
“This is unfair, putting already vulnerable households in impossible situations and leaving it up to community organisations to somehow come to the rescue.”
NCOSS also called on the NSW Government to reassess its business support package to ensure that community service organisations will be appropriately supported as the lockdown extends.
“We know that as the lockdown extends the revenue streams available to frontline community services organisations will take a hit,” Ms Quilty said.
“It is vitally important that these organisations get the necessary support to help them keep their services going, otherwise more vulnerable people will fall through the cracks.”
NCOSS also urged the NSW Government to work more closely with frontline services on the ground to inform policy responses and resource allocation.
For more information about NCOSS, visit www.ncoss.org.au
Media contact: Nick Trainor – 0407 078 138
Download Media Release here: Urgent Financial Support Needed as Lockdown Expected to Extend