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Victoria leads nation in energy disconnection. . .

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Victoria leads nation in energy disconnections

18 December 2014  |  

New data from the Essential Services Commission shows Victorians are being disconnected from their energy supply at record levels, and we now lead the nation in the number of people cut off from electricity and gas, warns the Victorian Council of Social Service. “These figures show that more people are experiencing financial difficulty due to energy hardship and must prompt action from retailers and the government to improve safeguards to ensure disconnection from the supply of this essential service remains the measure of last resort,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “More than 34,000 people ... Read More

Published under Energy and Water

New Cabinet for a fairer Victoria without poverty

4 December 2014  |  

The new Ministerial team announced by Premier Daniel Andrews today has an historic opportunity to build a fairer Victoria without poverty, says the Victorian Council of Social Service. “The new Victorian Cabinet includes several Ministries that show this Government is serious about addressing inequality and disadvantage by focusing on some of the critical social issues our community faces,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “The strong and diverse Cabinet announced today presents an historic moment for Victoria. It is particularly pleasing to see so many women in strong and prominent roles at ... Read More

Published under State Politics, Victorian state election

Report finds income inequality to worsen under Federal Budget

4 December 2014  |  

Inequality and poverty will worsen under the Abbott Government’s Budget, warns a new report from the Australian Senate. The report by the Senate’s Community Affairs References Committee, Bridging our growing divide: inequality in Australia, finds the harsh approach of the Federal Budget will push more people into poverty and disadvantage and calls for many of its more punitive measures to be abandoned. “This report is further evidence that the Federal Government has taken the wrong approach in seeking to make budget savings at the expense of supporting our most vulnerable people,” said ... Read More

Published under Budget, Federal Budget

Support Victorians to manage rising energy costs

2 December 2014  |  

Gas and electricity prices are predicted to increase significantly next year and low-income households will need support and protection in order to cope with the rising costs, says the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Energy costs are projected to increase by up to 10 per cent over 2015 – a $250 increase for a typical household – and threaten to push many low-income, high-energy-use households right to the brink,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “Already in Victoria we’ve seen significant increases in the number of people experiencing energy hardship and this will only increase as energy ... Read More

Published under Energy and Water

Labor wins an opportunity to build a fairer Victoria

30 November 2014  |  

VCOSS today congratulated the ALP on its election as the new Victorian government, saying it presents a chance to begin building a fairer, more inclusive Victoria without poverty. “During the election campaign, Daniel Andrews and his team announced many policies that could help build a more equal society in Victoria,” said Emma King, VCOSS CEO. “In particular, their announcements around education, healthcare, family violence, public transport, and promoting the strength and diversity of community sector organisations are welcome.” “Victoria’s unemployment crisis requires immediate action ... Read More

Published under Victorian state election

VCOSS to launch plan for tackling unemployment

21 November 2014  |  

Tackling unemployment: Towards a workforce participation plan for all Victorians WHEN:        10:00am Today Friday 21 November 2014 WHERE:      West Footscray Neighbourhood House, Lvl 1, 539 Barkly St, West Footscray WHO:           Community sector leaders and workers, young people who are unemployed, and people who have been supported into work through the assistance of community service organisations Join VCOSS as we launch our vision for a workforce participation plan that connects Victoria’s vulnerable people with the skills and jobs they need. When there are not enough jobs for ... Read More

Published under Victorian state election, Workforce participation

School welfare officers, employment incentives welcome but kinder money should be better targeted

10 November 2014  |  

An initiative to boost school welfare officers announced by the Victorian Coalition is welcome but a $100 rebate on kindergarten fees should be better targeted towards people on low incomes who most need support, says the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Primary welfare officers have an important role in ensuring young students have appropriate support and increasing coverage to all government primary schools is a welcome initiative,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “The $100, non-means tested kindergarten rebate will be welcomed by many Victorian families with young children, yet the ... Read More

Published under Children, Education, Victorian state election

Federal cuts put young people at risk

7 November 2014  |  

Federal cuts to programs that keep young people engaged in education and training will have a devastating impact on young Victorians and the services that support them, according to the Victorian Council of Social Service. “The Federal Government has walked away from its obligations in cutting funding to successful programs with a proven track record, including Youth Connections, which has had a remarkable success rate in getting people into meaningful employment,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “Victoria’s youth unemployment rate is now at its highest level in 15 years and we need to get ... Read More

Published under Education, Education, Victorian state election, Workforce participation, Young people

Investment in school participation will make a difference

26 October 2014  |  

New funding promised by the Victorian ALP to help students from low-income families meet the costs of schooling is a welcome and important step in ensuring all children and young people can participate in education, says the Victorian Council of Social Service. "The $150 million package announced today will go a long to giving vulnerable students the best chance to participate fully in the opportunities school has to offer," said Emma King, VCOSS CEO. "Ensuring young Victorians are able to attend camps and excursions and participate in sporting activities will assist families who struggle ... Read More

Published under Advocacy, Education, EMA, Victorian state election

Rising energy retailer complaints require action

16 October 2014  |  

The rising rate of utilities disconnections and complaints revealed by the Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria must prompt government action to address the underlying causes of energy hardship, warns the One Million Homes Alliance. The massive increase in energy customers seeking EWOV’s help to deal with disconnection, payment difficulties, or debt collection shows that energy costs are out of reach for more and more households – and that energy retailers are failing to meet their obligations in the supply of these essential services. “Retailers claim that customers in hardship don’t let ... Read More

Published under cost of living, Energy and Water