Govt to spend extra $30m on community services
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The state government says it will reverse indexation changes made by the previous Liberal National Government, and commit an additional $30.2 million to the community services sector.
In a statement, the government said the not-for-profit community services sector has advocated for funding to better reflect wage costs, and this change represented the government's recognition of the labour intensive nature of community services.
It did not specify which areas of the community services sector the funding would be allocated to, but said the community services sector organisations provide essential services to individuals facing homelessness, family and domestic violence, mental health issues and more.
It said the previous government changed the Non-Government Human Services Sector Indexation Policy to be based entirely on the Consumer Price Index, which reduced funding to the sector.
“From July 1, 2019, the NGHSS indexation rate will return to its original formula being a blended rate of the Wage Price Index, with an 80 per cent weighting, and the Perth CPI, with a 20 per cent weighting,” the state government said.
“This policy change will ensure not-for-profit organisations' contract payments are indexed to better reflect cost increases in the delivery of community services.
“All new and continuing not-for-profit community service contracts will increase by 1.47 per cent instead of a 1.16 per cent increase under the previous government's policy.
“This change represents an increase of approximately $30.2 million in sector funding over the next four years.”
Community Services Minister Simone McGurk said the former government's changes were “miserable”.
“They failed to recognise that many community sector organisations are labour intensive, so it is only right we recognise wage costs,” she said.
"By increasing the indexation rate, the government offers a fairer and more sustainable approach to the sector and will support the ongoing delivery of services to our most vulnerable citizens.”