Victorian Budget Disappointing - VCOSS
5 May 2010 at 4:14 pm
Welfare umbrella organisation, the Victorian Council of Social Service, VCOSS has described the Victorian Budget as disappointing.
VCOSS says the budget continues the Victorian Government’s approach to letting problems reach crisis point, with a massive injection into policing and prisons, while services that would make the community stronger were less of a priority.
This is reflected in VCOSS analysis of ten years of budgets that show police spending up 3.4 times per head on Labor’s first budget in 2000 and prison spending up 2.4, while schools spending has increased only 1.1 times, primary and dental health 1.4 times, child protection and placement 1.4 times and mental health spending 1.3 times.
Chief Executive of VCOSS Cath Smith says that while VCOSS welcomes additional resources in family services and early childhood intervention services for children with disabilities, youth mental health programs, an increase in the water concession, dental health services and chronic disease support programs, it is disappointed at poor growth over early interventions across social policy programs.
Smith says the key gaps include early intervention supports for young people, support for flexible education options, housing, lack of capacity investment for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, minimal investment in primary health, and support for education costs.
VCOSS own analysis of real spending increases, adjusted for inflation and population growth is below.
|Real Effective Increase|
|Acute Health Services||2.99%|
|Aged and Home Care||2.21%|
|Primary and Dental Health||2.15%|
|Child Protection and Family Services||4.37%|
|Youth Justice and Youth Services||2.63%|
|Early Childhood Services||-0.02%|
The Brumby Government says it will invest an additional $34 million from the 2010 State Budget to help build stronger communities and secure family life for the future.
The Minister for Community Development, Lily D’Ambrosio, says the 2010 State Budget has built on the Brumby Labor Government’s $13.9 million Action Plan: Strengthening Community Organisations, by investing $2 million to strengthen Not for Profit and community groups.
This will provide:
– Better access to relevant training, professional development and legal assistance, including on-line tools, and improve the uptake of contemporary ICT practices throughout the sector;
– Plain English guides to regulation and up to date information on changes; and
– Help to update and utilise computer and information technology.