Microfinance Scheme for Jobs Gets $63.4 Million
15 June 2015 at 12:02 pm
The Abbott Government has announced that it will spend $63.4 million over five years funding three microfinance schemes in a bid to help low income Australians move off welfare and into a job or study.
Minister for Social Services Scott Morrison said the funding package would be delivered from July 1 at the national No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) Conference in Sydney.
“This investment will enable the NILS, StepUP and Saver Plus programs to continue for a further five years,” Morrison said.
“These initiatives have a proven track record helping low income Australians into study or a job over the past six years and deserve the support of the government. Getting more people from welfare into work is good for families and good for our economy.
“The programs help people gain greater control of their money and lives by providing no or low interest loans or matched savings coupled with financial literacy education.
Morrison said the funding would support around 650 NILS and StepUP sites and 60 Saver Plus sites nationally – many of which were operating in regional and remote Australia.
“NILS and StepUP are delivered by Good Shepherd Microfinance in partnership with the National Australia Bank, and are excellent examples of effective community–business partnerships,” he said.
“Similarly, the matched savings scheme Saver Plus, delivered by Brotherhood of St Laurence and ANZ, has helped more than 23,000 Australians since it was piloted in 2003.
“The Abbott Government is also delivering $4.9 million over three years to organisations which provide access to fair and affordable business loans to low income individuals and families.”
For more information on the Australian Government’s microfinance initiatives go to Department of Social Services website.