Jumat, 19 April 2013

NSW State Govt axes Welfare Rights Centre funding

The NSW Welfare Rights Centre is a community legal centre that helps people deal with the social security system. If Centrelink thinks you've done something wrong – or you think Centrelink's done something wrong – you ring Welfare Rights.

For decades Welfare Rights has been funded jointly by the Commonwealth Government and the NSW State Government. Now the NSW State Government has cut its contribution. The NSW Family and Community Services Minister, Pru Goward, says funding this sort of service is the Commonwealth's job, not the NSW State Government's. Five frontline staff will have to go.

Social security payments come from the Commonwealth; they go to citizens of New South Wales. New South Wales citizens spend their payments on goods and services at New South Wales businesses. They pay rents to New South Wales landlords – in many cases, to Minister Goward's own Housing NSW. They pay for kids' uniforms and excursions in New South Wales schools.

The NSW State Govt should fund the services provided by Welfare Rights to New South Wales citizens, because they're New South Wales citizens. But aside from that, it makes good sense to fund these services, to help make sure those payments keep going to New South Wales businesses, schools, landlords – and the NSW Government. 

We're asking the NSW State Government to rethink. You can too, by contacting Minister Goward and your local State MP.

[UPDATE 22/4: And on Friday 3 May, you can voice your concern in person at the 'Save Welfare Rights' emergency rally, at 12.30 outside the NSW State Ministerial offices in Governor Macquarie Tower.]