NFPs React to Victorian Budget
7 May 2013 at 4:39 pm
The Victorian Council of Social Service, VCOSS says the State Budget cherry-picks a few big-ticket projects, but doesn’t sufficiently invest for the long term to improve opportunities and wellbeing across the community.
VCOSS says large areas of spending have fallen in real terms per capita, with only a few areas improving.
"We welcome some specific initiatives, especially funding for out-of-home care, disability services and implementing the equal pay decision,"Carolyn Atkins, Acting CEO of VCOSS said .
"We also commend the government on providing additional resources to refugee and dental health, school support services, early childhood intervention services, and growth area bus services.
"We are disappointed that many of the Government’s new spending initiatives do not address the causes of disadvantage, instead mostly focusing on the consequences. For instance, the Government is making significant investments in acute health services, but failing to do the same for preventative measures."
Premier, Denis Napthine said the Coalition Government had committed to delivering State-shaping infrastructure, and provides a record $6.1 billion for major projects in 2013-14 to boost productivity and improve liveability.
Environment Victoria has described the budget as a continuation of the Coalition’s deeply disappointing record on protecting the environment and supporting clean energy and an abandonment of key pre-election environment promises.
Environment Victoria's Campaigns Director Mark Wakeham said today: “If you’re in the business of coal mining, road building or port dredging this budget is for you. If however, you are like most Victorians and concerned about the environment and the future we are leaving for our kids this budget lets you down.”
“The Budget confirms that the Coalition has abandoned key election promises outlined in its 2010 Energy and Planning policies given they will now not be significantly advanced in this term of Government.”
“The Coalition’s promise to improve the energy efficiency of Victorian homes to a 5 star average has been ignored in this and previous budgets, guaranteeing no significant progress in this term of government. This is deeply disappointing given that improving the energy efficiency of Victorian homes would deliver cost savings for households as well as environmental benefits and job creation.”
“Similarly the pre-election commitment to ensure 5% of the State’s electricity is generated from solar power by 2020 has again been ignored at budget time and is unlikely to be achieved,” Wakeman said.
The Governments Budget commitments to community welfare include:
- $1.2 billion investment in 2013-14 in mental health, creating more than 500 jobs
- $266 million to improve services for families living with disabilities, in addition to more than $300 million committed to the launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
- $152 million over four years to improve outcomes for vulnerable children as part of the Coalition Government’s response to the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry.