Summit Highlights Impact of Economic Crisis on Social Services
5 December 2008 at 9:33 am
Australia’s faith based social service organisations have lobbied the Federal Government to take action to counter the expected impact of the global economic crisis on the poorest groups.
Social services and welfare providers took their concerns regarding the impact of the global financial crisis to political leaders at a national summit at Parliament House in Canberra.
As part of the Summit, Catholic Social Services Australia, Anglicare, Uniting Care and the Salvation Army commissioned a discussion paper on how the crisis will impact on the delivery of services to disadvantaged Australians.
The paper from Access Economics says demand for help will increase substantially in the short term and further investment in the welfare sector should be considered as part of future government stimulus measures.
The group of major church providers predicts the current global financial crisis will have an acute impact on the most disadvantaged members of society, as well as pushing increased numbers of low and middle income earners to seek the services of already stretched welfare agencies.
With unemployment expected to reach up to 5.4 per cent next year, the services most immediately affected by the deteriorating economic conditions include: employment, housing, financial and general counselling and emergency relief.
Low-income households and Australia’s disadvantaged will be directly impacted by slowing economic growth as rising unemployment together with continued pressure on housing costs, and the cost of living more generally, increase the incidence of financial and social stress.
In discussing the financial crisis and Australia’s economic outlook, the paper provides forecasts for key economic variables and focuses on the resulting pressures faced by low-income households.