SA Budget Rated 3.5 out of 5: SACOSS
10 June 2011 at 5:02 pm
The South Australian State Budget is an improvement on the ‘carnage’ of last year’s budget, however more needs to be done to support the disadvantaged, according to the state’s peak welfare body SACOSS
SACOSS says it welcomes many of the measures in the budget that recognise where need lies in the community, however community services in South Australia are still reduced by last year’s cuts.
SACOSS Senior Policy Analyst Dr Greg Ogle says SACOSS rates this Budget at 3.5 out of 5, as it has some good initiatives and is hopefully the beginning of some positive new directions from the government.
Dr Ogle says SACOSS welcomes the government’s recognition of increased demand for child protection services, and the investment in keeping siblings together and reunifying them with their families.
However he says more cash flow to serious early intervention programs, to keep children out of the system in the first place, is still on the SACOSS wish-list.
Dr Ogle says in this Budget, South Australia has caught up with the other states with an energy concession for people with medical conditions exacerbated by temperature, and SACOSS also acknowledge the government’s cash injection for the water concession.
However he says that the prices for essential utilities of water and power skyrocketing – and without tying concessions to cost of living increases, concessions will continue to be outstripped.
Money in the budget for disability is overdue and does not nearly far enough, says Dr Ogle, and significant spending on law and justice is for capital works rather than crime prevention, early intervention and access to justice.
There has been outcry from public servants over the budget, with a 400 jobs to go over the next two years, adding to the 3700 jobs axed in last year’s budget