Read TasCOSS and the network of community services industry peaks Budget responses.
On Thursday 25 May 2023, Treasurer Michael Ferguson handed down the latest State Budget.
The Treasurer openly acknowledged this was going to be a tough Budget, but even in challenging economic times, the goal of every budget must be to ensure all Tasmanians can afford the basics.
Regrettably, this Budget fails that basic measure.
We had hoped to see measures such as accelerating the delivery of new social and affordable homes, a cap on rent increases and energy prices, investment in digital skills and affordability, greater investment in household energy efficient upgrades to keep energy prices down, and ensuring public transport is affordable and accessible for all Tasmanians.
However, for the more than 120,000 Tasmanians on inadequate incomes and the many more also doing it tough, this Budget won’t change much.
Just like all other Tasmanians, community services organisations are being smashed by skyrocketing costs.
It was therefore incredibly disappointing that the critical value of our industry was not recognised in this Budget. Instead of delivering adequate indexation so we can cover our costs, the Government announced funding of $2.1 million in the form of ‘top-up’ funding to give selected community service organisations an effective lift to 4% for one year.
This is far from what’s required to cover the costs of running our organisations, or to allow us to forecast our budgets. This funding decision means ongoing uncertainty and will force organisations to reduce costs by cutting services, whittle-down what they offer, shedding staff, or all of the above, just to keep operating.
At TasCOSS’s 2023/24 State Budget Briefing, the Minister for Community Services and Development, the Hon Nic Street MP, admitted that this was an inadequate response to funding our industry. He committed to working with us on the Government’s Budget announcement of a comprehensive review of Tasmanian Government funding models to ensure longer-term certainty, clear outcomes and adaptable service provision over the next 12 months.
While another review into our funding was not what we were looking for, we must make the most of this opportunity to work with the Minister and other decision-makers to ensure we achieve sustainable outcomes for our industry and the Tasmanians we support.
We’ve collated feedback and reactions to the Budget from the community services industry network of peaks, which you can view at the following links:
- Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council (ATDC) Tasmania
- Anglicare Tasmania
- Family Violence and Sexual Assault Specialist Support Services
- Mental Health Council of Tasmania
- Mental Health Council of Tasmania (MHCT)/Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs Council (ATDC) Tasmania
- National Disability Services (NDS)
- Shelter Tasmania
- Volunteering Tasmania
- Women’s Health Tasmania
- Youth Network of Tasmania (YNOT)
TasCOSS 2023/24 State Budget Briefing
I’d like to use this opportunity to thank everyone who attended our 2023/24 State Budget Briefing. It was fantastic to see so many of our valued TasCOSS Members and supporters in the room. Our voice is only strong because you support us and our mission.
The Q&A session with Minister Street was insightful and I’d like to once again thank the Minister for his time and for making himself accessible to the community services industry.
TasCOSS will continue to monitor the implementation of initiatives announced in the Budget. If you or your organisation have a specific area of interest that you would like to bring to our attention, please contact Stephen Durney, Acting Manager Policy, on (03) 6169 9508 or email Stephen.
Policy Conversation: Implications of the Budget on Housing and Cost of Living
TasCOSS hosted a post-budget Policy Conversation on Tuesday 30 May where we were joined by Dr Maria Yanotti (University of Tasmania) to unpack the Budget papers with a focus on housing and cost of living announcements.
It was great to hear Dr Yanotti’s overview of the Tasmanian economic landscape and Budget expenditure. Maria’s presentation analysed the mechanics of the Budget and provided insightful commentary around initiatives announced by the Government — what were the positives, and where are the gaps/what’s missing.
More 2023/24 State Budget analysis, information and media coverage:
- TasCOSS’s 2023/24 State Budget media release
- Treasurer’s 2023/24 State Budget speech
- 2023/24 State Budget papers
- Media: Tasmanian minister Nic Street apologises to community services over lack of money in budget (ABC News, 31/05/23)
- Media: Sorry, I will do better: Street (Mercury, 31/05/23)
- Media: Indexation announcement coverage (ABC News, 30/05/23)
- Media: Community Services Minister Nic Street addresses funding apology (The Examiner, 30/05/23)
- Media: Community services organisations under strain due to lack of funding (Seven Tasmania News, 28/05/23)
- Media: Budget won’t help those most in need (Mercury Talking Point, 27/05/23)
- Media: Children hearing of parents’ domestic violence trauma as services cut (The Examiner, 27/05/23)
- Media: Interview with Kim Napier (ABC Northern Tasmania 91.7) re State Budget (27/05/23)
- Media: Fears for the most vulnerable (Mercury, 26/05/23)
- Media: State Budget analysis (Mercury, 25/05/23)
- Media: State Budget analysis (The Examiner, 25/05/23)
- Media: State Budget analysis (ABC News, 25/05/23)
- Media: State Budget summary (Seven Tasmania News, 25/05/23)
- Media: State Budget summary (WIN News Tasmania, 25/05/23)