Group calls for social services shake-up


New South Wales needs relief from soaring energy bills, cheaper dental care and an end to wanton evictions, a leading social services group has said.

People in financial difficulty should be able to access up to $1,600 in electricity vouchers and the government should introduce a cashless gaming card to limit damage from poker machines, according to the NSW Council of Social Service .

The council identified eight recommendations as part of its policy platform and urged politicians to sign on to key reforms ahead of national elections in March 2023.

“The events of the past three years have not been felt in the same way,” NCOSS CEO Joanna Quilty said Friday.

“We know that it is low-income households and disadvantaged communities who have paid the price.

“We’ve reached a tipping point where families are being hit by rising costs, stagnant wages and, on top of it all, seemingly endless natural disasters.”

She said NSW needed investment to avoid widening the gap between rich and poor.

Recommendations include providing energy vouchers of up to $1,600, doubling funding for community dental utilities, ending no-cause evictions for tenants, and mandating cashless game cards for tenants. poker machines.

It also calls for better financing of neighborhood houses and the construction of more social housing.

The policy was developed after four years of consultation with frontline services and wider networks.

“We are also calling for extended contract terms and adequate annual escalation for social service organizations,” Ms Quilty said.

“This will allow social service providers to better support those in desperate need of constant and regular help and will provide job security and certainty to the predominantly female workforce.”

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