March 30, 2014

The Abbott Government’s announcement of $115 million to continue the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness is cold comfort for the thousands of workers delivering services to some of our country’s most vulnerable people.

Acting Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Jenny Macklin said it represented a cut of $44 million and still leaves the sector with an uncertain future.

“We welcome any funding certainty for the homelessness sector – for months now, they’ve been pleading with the government to do more,” Ms Macklin said.

“While the government has tried to spin this is a boost, it’s actually a $44 million cut from the $159m in the current agreement.

“The 3,400 workers, 180 programs and 80,000 Australians who depend on support under the agreement need funding certainty, not more cuts from the Abbott Government.

“In the Government’s eyes, anything that’s more than zero dollars is a funding injection.”

The National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness ends in June 2014.

The Abbott Government’s refusal to provide any funding assurances to date has already taken a toll on the sector in recent months with some workers leaving their jobs due to the uncertainty around funding and their futures.

Ms Macklin said today’s funding cut is yet more evidence that housing and homelessness is just not on the Abbott Government’s radar.

“In a few short months, we’ve seen the abolition of the Prime Minister’s Council on Homelessness, the axing of the highly regarded National Housing Supply Council, the removal of the COAG Select Council on Housing and Homelessness and the Commonwealth’s withdrawal from the community housing sector’s National Regulatory Council.

“On top of this, stakeholders are reporting that no access is being granted to the Minister.”

“The Abbott Government must rectify this as the future of housing and homelessness reform in our country is at risk.”


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