Carbon Price Will Hit NFPs: Greens
Monday, 18th April 2011 at 3:53 pm
A price on carbon is expected to impact on Not for Profit organisations, according to Greens Senator Rachel Siewert and she has called on the Gillard Government to ensure that the NFP sector is appropriately supported.
The Greens says they are looking at options for providing assistance to Not for Profit organisations with the move to a carbon price.
As the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee (MPCCC) looks at how a carbon price mechanism could be introduced in the economy, Australian Greens Community Services spokesperson Rachel Siewert says the Greens are committed to ensuring that the social services sector are considered during the MPCCC’s deliberations.
Siewert says the social services sector already operates on a shoe-string budget and the Greens are very aware that the important move to putting a price on pollution is likely to have an impact on social services as well as households.
She says services with a large residential component – such as aged care facilities, women's and homeless shelters as well as childcare centres – may be particularly exposed to cost increases.
Senator Siewert says the Greens remain committed to ensuring that the vulnerable in the Australian community – low-income earners, pensioners, carers, the social services sector and more – are considered during the deliberations.
The Gillard Government has said it is committed to its policy that more than 50% of the carbon price revenue will be used to assist household, with the rest used to support jobs in the most affected industries and to encourage the transition to a ‘clean energy future’.
The Australian Council of Social Services has released its first carbon pricing position paper, which calls for low income households to be given direct cash assistance and for the government to be aware of how a carbon price will affect Not for Profit organisations.
ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie says ACOSS wants to ensure that the community services sector is not compromised by the introduction of a carbon price.
Dr Goldie says Not for Profit organisations are exposed to increases in the costs of basics like energy, food and fuel – with most simply unable to pass through cost increases via higher charges, instead having to seek revenue increases or reduce services.
She says any diminution in the quantity or quality of these services impacts directly and immediately on individuals and households living in poverty and on low, fixed income households.
The discussion papers calls on the Government to ensure that increases to operating costs resulting from a carbon price do not adversely affect the capacity of government agencies, non-government organisations and others to deliver services in support of low income households and the community at large.
It says investments in improved energy use-efficiency for the community service sector may, over time, ameliorate the impacts of price increases for services and goods essential to operations, including energy and fuel.