Federal budget revealed very little for not-for-profit services and for people living on low incomes

Community Industry Group

The 2024-25 Federal budget has revealed very little for not-for-profit community services and for people living on low incomes, according to the Community Industry Group, the peak body for  community services in southern NSW. 

“Housing affordability is the key issue impacting client groups across most of our local community  services.” said Community Industry Group CEO, Nicky Sloan.

“We welcome, therefore, the 10%  increase in Commonwealth Rent Assistance and acknowledge that this is the second increase in 2  years which is highly unusual. However, we must recognise that in effect this is an extremely modest  increase, amounting to less than $9.50 per week for a single person on income support.” 

People on welfare support received no good news, except for a very small number of people with  the least capacity to work who received an extra $27 per week. 

The only relief offered to people on the lowest incomes was the $300 energy rebate, which has been extended to all households.

“This was a real mis-step by government” Ms Sloan said “Instead of  directing the full packet of rebates where they are most needed, they will also be enjoyed by people  on the highest incomes, who are unlikely to even notice their impact.” 

On the positive side, there have been an additional 24,000 Home Care Packages announced,  although it appears that there is not new money and the funding for these is coming from the  existing Commonwealth Home Support Program. Even this number is not nearly as much as the  current waitlist. 

“The 2024-25 budget holds nothing in response to the recommendations in the report from the  Aged Care Taskforce” Ms Sloan said “So there is no indication of changes the way aged care is  funded into the future.” 

However, the budget does hold around $60bn set aside to fund the Fair Work Commission increases  to the wages of our aged care workforce, and the expected increases to wages for workers in the  early childhood education and care sector. “With a highly feminised workforce in both of these  sectors, this will largely benefit women and their families” noted Ms Sloan

Of major concern is the proposed $14bn cut to the growth of the NDIS. “There is a distinct lack of  detail about how this will be achieved” said Ms Sloan “But we will be watching closely, because the  cost of delivering these vital services continues to increase and we don’t want to see people with  disability exceeding their plan and being left without service. And we can’t expect not-for-profit  disability providers to deliver services unfunded.” 

About Community Industry Group 

Community Industry is the peak body working for community services and organisations in Southern NSW. It supports community organisations, promotes expertise and innovation in community  development, fosters industry development and provides advocacy for social justice. Community  Industry Group is an independent organisation governed by a committee of management elected  annually by the membership. 

Community Industry Group represents the non-government community services industry in the  South East of NSW, and works closely with organisations which provide support to vulnerable people  across the region.

/Public Release. View in full here.