Cut is short-sighted
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.