Tasmanian Government’s cost of living package

TasCOSS has welcomed the Tasmanian Government’s $5 million cost of living package, which acknowledges the significant cost of living pressures Tasmanians are currently facing. 

TasCOSS CEO Ms Adrienne Picone said with recent data showing Hobart’s Consumer Price Index was now sitting at 6.5%, well above the national average of 6.1%, urgent cost of living support was desperately needed. 

“We know so many Tasmanians are struggling right now just to put food on the table, or pay their electricity bills or rent, so the announcement of additional funding for Tasmania’s Neighbourhood Houses, emergency food relief providers, Family Assistance Program providers and Aurora Energy’s hardship program is positive news for those struggling to afford the basics,” Ms Picone said. 

“It’s also positive news for the School Lunch Program who will now be able to fully deliver their services to another 30 Tasmanian schools in the next year. 

“This additional $5 million in funding will enable the community services industry to support and empower more Tasmanians to participate in life, be that socially, economically or culturally.

“This funding is recognition the community services industry is an essential pillar in Tasmania’s social and economic infrastructure.”
Ms Picone said TasCOSS were also pleased to see the stopgap increase to indexation for community service organisations to 3% (compared to the current rate of 2.25%), along with the commitment to a full review of funding allocations. 

“While the stopgap funding is a step in the right direction, the reason it’s necessary is because for many years Tasmanian Government contracts have not adequately addressed rising operational costs and increased demand for services,” she said.

“Our workforce of almost 18,000 and 35,000 volunteers provides Tasmanians with work that has real meaning. We help families stay together, support people into education and employment, help Tasmanians to overcome literacy and digital barriers, provide housing and homelessness services, just to mention some of our crucial work. 

“But in recent years it’s been getting harder to do this work because the costs to deliver our services have been growing faster that what we receive to deliver them, just as household expenses have been growing faster than incomes. 

“For some organisations, wages alone have seen a 5.2% increase in their costs.

“We look forward to engaging in the full review of indexation rates for community service organisations so we can place our industry on a sustainable footing for the future.”