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Grandparents suffer from broken Budget promise

Media statement
For immediate release
Wednesday, 31 May 2006

Grandparents suffer from broken Budget promise

Grandparents raising grandchildren and other kinship carers continue to receive less financial support than non-relative foster carers, despite promises from the Government to close the gap, according to United Future deputy leader Judy Turner

Today she expressed her anger that kinship carers continue to receive an average of around $20 - $30 less than CYFS carers.

"This is despite a promise nine months ago from the Government to provide the cash to close the discrepancy between rates for carers."

Mrs Turner has repeatedly challenged the Government in Parliament over this issue over the last three years.

"This is a penalty which exacerbates the financial hardship felt by grandparents and other family members who are taking a responsibility that would otherwise fall on social agencies.

"The Social Development Minister promised last year that this issue would be addressed in the Budget - but there is nothing to be seen in regards to helping grandparents who are raising their grandchildren."

Mrs Turner offers some advice to the Government, if it's struggling to find the money to follow through on its promise.

"Instead of spending $11 million on bullying programmes, they could take United Future's advice and resource some principals with proven track records of turning around negative school climates.

"The rest of the money could then be redirected to cover this urgent need.

"This is a simple case of broken promises from the Government, while grandparents are the ones who continue to suffer.

"I urge the Minister to follow through on his word immediately to resolve this inconsistent and unfair situation. It is long overdue," insists Mrs Turner.


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