The Ramsay report on assistance to the financially stressed

kepayne 17 April 2012

The Targeted Assistance Strategy is part of the ACT Government’s bid to better support those experiencing financial hardship. What is unique about this report is that it is focusing on those who don’t normally qualify for or access government help.

Reverend Ramsay led the Targeted Assistance Strategy Panel, which was formed after the 2011 Community Roundtable, and found that those in the second income quintile (those with incomes just higher than those in the lowest 20 percent) were more likely to experience financial stress than those in the top two thirds of the lowest quintile. As such, many of the recommendations are specifically targeting this group.

‘There has been a specific focus in the work of the Panel on low income households that currently sit just above the concessions safety net and are not in receipt of direct government financial assistance’

The recommendations are broken into short, medium and long term and are more about tweaking existing services that have been shown to work, to include those in the second income quintile. There is also a strong focus on making information about government services easier to access.

There are thirty four recommendations covering many areas. These include housing, health, school education, training, transport, building financial capacity, concessions, utilities, community service obligations, information sharing, and flexible & targeted service delivery.

Katy Gallagher released a media statementyesterday welcoming the report.

‘In my view it is absolutely essential that while my government continues its efforts to create a strong and diversified economy that we always ensure we actively engage with those in our community who are facing hardship and who struggle from week to week.’

UPDATE 17/04/12 15:35: The Greens’ have announced they’re positively thrilled by the outcomes.

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