Urgent response needed to close social service funding gap
Urgent government response needed to close social service funding gap
Trust Waikato is supporting a call for the government to address an estimated $630 million a year funding gap for social service providers.
An independent study by MartinJenkins has quantified for the first time the funding gap for organisations providing social services that are essential to the wellbeing of New Zealand whaanau and communities.
The study found that the government funds social service providers for less than two thirds of the actual costs of delivering the essential services they are contracted to provide. This leaves services unable to cover basic running costs, to pay enough to attract and retain the staff they need.
Trust Waikato agrees that the funding gap is putting essential services under extreme pressure. Trust Waikato Chief Executive, Dennis Turton, says “this year we have had record levels of grants amounts requested and it is increasingly obvious that social services are struggling to meet the needs of our most vulnerable communities”.
The study was released this week by Social Service Providers Aotearoa, which is calling on the government to support an immediate resolution that
- addresses the pay inequality between providers and the public sector,
- makes a serious commitment to close the funding gap in the 2020 Budget, and
- commits to working with the sector on the longer term issues that are identified, to achieve an effective and sustainable funding model.
The full report is available on the SSPA website at https://www.sspa.org.nz/funding-gap.