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Melbourne world’s most liveable city, if yo. . .

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Melbourne world’s most liveable city, if you can afford it

19 August 2014  |  

The naming of Melbourne as the world’s most liveable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit highlights the growing disparity that is emerging through a lack of services and decades of poor planning, says the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Melbourne has become a city divided – offering a high quality of life for those who can afford to live where the infrastructure and services are located, but leaving far too many people facing isolation, transport poverty and the risk of financial crisis,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “Inner city Melbourne is an attractive proposition for ... Read More

Transport poverty a real and significant problem

14 August 2014  |  

People on low incomes living on Melbourne’s urban fringe and in regional areas are more reliant upon cars, have higher travel costs and are at significantly higher risk of ‘transport poverty’ than people in more affluent inner-city suburbs, says the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Contrary to the views of Federal Treasurer, Joe Hockey, the evidence shows that people on low incomes who live in our booming outer suburbs and regional growth areas are paying more for their transport costs and travelling further than people who live in wealthier inner suburban areas,” said Emma King, CEO of ... Read More

Prepayment meters not the answer for Victorians

11 August 2014  |  

The Victorian Government should not introduce prepaid electricity metering for low income households as such a scheme would leave people without access to this vital essential service, warns the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Prepayment meters were banned in Victoria in 2004 for good reason: they significantly increase the risk and incidence of loss of electricity supply and offer no offsetting advantages to energy consumers,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “VCOSS objects to a system whereby households are required to pre-pay for energy in order to have it supplied, and in which the ... Read More

Victoria’s worsening unemployment alarming

7 August 2014  |  

Victoria’s worsening unemployment rate, which has hit its highest level since 2001, is alarming and shows the urgent need for a workforce participation plan says the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Now at 7 per cent, Victoria’s growing unemployment rate  is alarming and demonstrates just how precarious the job situation is, especially for low-income and vulnerable households,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “There are now more than 215,000 Victorians who are out of work and the effects on our community of prolonged high unemployment are already profound.” “Community sector organisations ... Read More

Unemployed Australians should not be punished

31 July 2014  |  

The increasingly harsh punitive measures mooted by the Federal Government’s Work for the Dole program will do little to help people into meaningful work and risks stigmatising vulnerable members of the community warns the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Being unemployed is not a crime and people who are struggling to find work should not be punished for it,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “The latest revelations that new job search requirements will see Work for the Dole participants undertake the same work as people on court-ordered community corrections orders shows the government ... Read More

Assist people into jobs by funding programs that work

28 July 2014  |  

"Work for the dole has a poor track record when it comes to getting people into real long-term jobs and should not be expanded at the expense of programs that work,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “Work for the Dole is a blunt instrument that doesn't provide the kind of targeted support that has been shown time and time again to be the best way of helping people find and keep jobs.” “The expanded work for the dole program announced today comes as the Federal Government has shutdown successful programs with a proven track record of getting people into meaningful employment - such as the ... Read More

Importance of high quality early learning confirmed by Productivity Commission

22 July 2014  |  

The value and importance of quality early childhood learning and its importance to vulnerable families has been confirmed by the Productivity Commission in its latest draft report on childcare and early learning. “The Productivity Commission report makes a series of recommendations that recognise the importance of giving vulnerable children the best start in life,” said Emma King, CEO of the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Crucially the commission has recommended the Commonwealth direct more funding towards early learning – recognising that better resourcing will result in better ... Read More

200,000 Victorian students to lose support for school costs

21 July 2014  |  

The families of more than 200,000 Victorian school students – almost one quarter of all students in the education system – will lose targeted support for school costs from 2015, and most don’t even know it. The abolition of the Education Maintenance Allowance, which has helped low-income families meet school costs such as books, uniforms, excursions, camps, and IT equipment for more than 20 years, will hurt low-income families. “The loss of direct, targeted assistance puts significant burden on low-income families and risks leaving hundreds of thousands of children unable to participate ... Read More

Federal changes put thousands of young Victorians at risk of poverty

17 July 2014  |  

Tens of thousands of young Victorians will be left jobless, without assistance to find work and at increased risk of homelessness under federal government changes to the social support system, leaving the Victorian Government needing to fill the gap, warns a coalition of community services and welfare organisations. A forum in Melbourne today will hear that the youth unemployment rate in parts of the state is around 30 per cent, that up to 10,000 young Victorians are disengaging from education and work every year, that youth homelessness is growing, and that the Federal changes will dramatically ... Read More

Victorians jobless rate, rental affordability worsen

10 July 2014  |  

Victoria’s unemployment rate has hit a 12-year-high, on the same day that a new report shows rental affordability is worsening, says the Victorian Council of Social Service. “Victorians on low incomes and in precarious work and housing situations need a strong social safety net to reduce the risk of falling into poverty and disadvantage,” said Emma King, CEO of VCOSS. “Victoria’s worsening unemployment situation means there are now more than 197,000 people who are unemployed. At 6.5 per cent, our seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is the worst in the state since January 2002.” “Alarmingly, ... Read More