Cut is short-sighted

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion -

THE State Gov­ern­ment has an­nounced that state-funded fi­nan­cial coun­selling ser­vices for young peo­ple in the Perth metropoli­tan area will cease on Septem­ber 30.

This cut comes de­spite anal­y­sis in 2014 that found the weekly in­comes of sin­gle-par­ent fam­i­lies and un­em­ployed sin­gle peo­ple – the client group we serve – re­main in­ad­e­quate to meet ba­sic living costs (WACOSS 2014 Cost of Living Re­port).

If the mea­sure of a civil so­ci­ety is how we treat our most vul­ner­a­ble mem­bers, this de­ci­sion at a time of eco­nomic dis­tress is un­civilised and short-sighted.

Those who could have re­ceived help from us to ride out dif­fi­cult times are now to be cut loose, with no sup­port to ne­go­ti­ate with cred­i­tors and land­lords.

More fam­i­lies will face the very real prospect of home­less­ness and the loss of es­sen­tial ser­vices, not to men­tion the stress, vi­o­lence, sub­stance mis­use and men­tal health is­sues in house­holds that are al­ready strug­gling to make ends meet.

Our chil­dren and their par­ents de­serve more con­sid­er­a­tion than this, not to men­tion the im­pact of this de­ci­sion on our al­ready over­bur­dened courts, as more fam­i­lies will be fac­ing bank­ruptcy and evic­tion, and our over­stretched men­tal health ser­vices.

Ch­eryl Cas­sidy-Ver­non, Direc­tor, Perth Legal Ser­vice.

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