Monday, 16th May 2011
National Families Week 15-21 May
Family Relationship Services Face Funding Cuts
“It is regrettable that the Gillard Government didn’t bear in mind the theme of this year’s National Families Week when framing its Budget” said Bert van Manen MP, Federal Member for Forde today.
The theme of the week, which commences on Sunday, is “Sticking Together – families in good times and tough times.”
Yet the Gillard Government will rip $50 million from family support services from July 1.
Family Relationship services, such as marriage counselling, will have their funds cut.
In addition, the Family Relationship Centres will also suffer funding cuts from January 1, 2012.
“Instead of helping families to stick together in good and tough times, the Gillard Government is reducing funding for vital relationship services” Mr van Manen said.
“Services which already have long and growing waiting lists will have reduced ability to meet the demand.”
“These are the very services which help families stick together.”
On top of this, funding for the AIFS is being slashed.
“While cost of living pressures increase, the Family Tax Benefit supplements are being frozen, hitting many Australian families” Mr van Manen said.
“The Gillard Government’s decision to slash funding of family Relationship Services stands in stark contrast to the Coalition policy to increase funding.”
It is Coalition policy to provide a $200 voucher to couples getting married that can be utilised on a marriage education, counselling or parenting program. This will assist potentially up to 115,000 couples per year, (ABS data) and will be in addition to the funding already provided to family relationship agencies.