State Budgets normally don’t have much for young people in them, and this one is no different.
Having said that, we’ve gone through it all to find what parts might affect the lives of young people. Scroll down to find out!
What is the budget being praised for?
There’s a lot of money allocated to building things and increasing infrastructure, which will help drive jobs and ‘invigorate the economy’. Also, a lot of the cuts to services that people were worried about didn’t eventuate.
What is the budget being criticised for?
Increases to fees, fines and costs of services.
What can I say to my friends to sound smart if they ask me about the budget?
“There was a major reduction in GST revenue for the State Government – so they were forced into some tough decisions about how to reduce their spending. Still, it’s going to result in increased costs, which is never a good thing’.
HOW WILL THE STATE BUDGET AFFECT YOUNG PEOPLE?
There are six areas where this budget could impact the lives of young people: transport, housing, education, police, child protection and domestic and family violence and victims’ support.
Let’s crack into it.
The cost of public transport has gone up (see the graphic above).
The Government has reintroduced the $5.00 purchase cost for a new Metrocard ($3.50 for concession Metrocards).
Motor vehicle registration fees will also rise by $6.00, $13.00 and $19.00 for 4, 5-6, and 7+ cylinder cars respectively.
Driver’s licence renewals will rise by $10 for one year and $20 for 10 years.
Changes to Compulsory Third Party insurance could save individuals around $100 per year on their car registration.
Young people consistently tell us that cost prevents them from using public transport or maintaining a car. Any increase in fees has the potential to further reduce young people’s access to transport.
There’s a $104 million commitment for a housing stimulus package.
$21 million of that is earmarked to maintain/upgrade existing public housing, and to build 90 new homes.
$2 million has also been committed for an Affordable Housing Fund to assist those on low incomes with a deposit to buy their first home.
We know that a lot of young people are struggling to afford a place to live. Young people are often not able to afford to rent, much less buy a home. The government needs to commit to increasing stocks of social housing* and to providing programs and services to enable young people to live independently.
*Social housing = Housing owned/managed by the government or community not-for-profit organisations, where rents are generally capped at 30% of a person’s income to ensure it is (relatively) affordable.
The Government has pledged $185.3 million for upgrades to schools across the state (including regional and rural areas) to help schools cope with projected increases in students and to transition Year 7 into high schools by 2022.
They have invested $80 million into delivering high speed internet to public schools across the state.
TAFE will get an extra $25.5 million.
School upgrades are good, particularly those in regional and rural areas. We also support increased funding to enable TAFE to continue its important role as a pathway to employment and further study for young people.
Speeding fines will increase between 1.7% to 60% with drivers caught speeding 30km over the posted limit facing fines of up to $1472 (increased from $920.00 in 2018-19).
Fines for using a mobile phone while driving will similarly see a 59.9% increase rising from $334.00 to $534.00 in 2019-20.
First off, fines are avoidable and in a perfect world no one would receive them because everyone would behave. Nevertheless, young people on low incomes will be hardest hit by any increases to fines and other expiation notices.
There’s $26.9 million over the next three years to address the surge in children and young people entering out-of-home care.
As a prevention and early intervention measure, Government has committed $568,000 next financial year on a new ‘family group conference’ pilot and the funding for that is set to rise to $1.1 million in 2020-2021.
Government has pledged $3 million to trial an ‘intensive family support program’ for families that are at risk of having their children enter the child protection system.
YACSA welcomes increased spending to ensure children and young people are protected and safe once they enter the child protection system.
Government needs to demonstrate a greater financial commitment to strengthening families to prevent children and young people entering the child protection system in the first place.
Domestic and Family Violence and Victims’ Support
Government has committed an additional $383,000 to the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme trial in 2019-2020 after strong results were recorded by the service in 2018-2019.
However, cuts were also announced including a $150,000 per year cut to the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service and a $1.2 million per year cut to the Victim Support Service.
With the gravity of reported (and potentially unreported) incidences of domestic and family violence in the community, YACSA urges Government to fully support both prevention and early intervention measures and the service response to the victims of domestic and family violence.
Want to know more?
Click the links to check out our:
2019-2020 Budget Snapshot - YACSA’s full budget snapshot that breaks down the key elements of the budget.
2018 State Election Scorecards - where you can check out the promises Goverment made to young people about issues young people are passionate about in the lead up to last year’s State Election.