Double funding to fight poverty if Labor elected in NSW
The leading anti-poverty and social services organisations in NSW can expect double its permanent funding under Labor if it wins the upcoming state election.
Labor has pledged an additional $1.3 million in funding to the NSW Council of Social Services if it wins government at the March 25 poll, the party told AAP on Friday.
It would lift the peak body's annual funding to $2.5m, topping up its core funding of $1.2m through NSW Health and the Department of Communities and Justice.
"NSW is committed to supporting our community sector and the invaluable work that they do each and every day across our state," Labor Leader Chris Minns said on Friday.
"The work that NCOSS does is vital to provide a voice to those in NSW experiencing disadvantage and poverty."
NCOSS CEO Joanna Quilty said the government funding was significantly less per capita than its state and territory counterparts, but she welcomed the pledge.
"It's going to make a huge difference," Ms Quilty said.
"NSW isn't out of the woods yet. There are more households out there who are really struggling.
"And we've got a social service sector that is really struggling itself under the weight of rising demand.
"This additional funding will boost our efforts to ensure that these issues are front and centre for the next government."
NCOSS received a one-off $1.2m funding boost from the government during the COVID-19 pandemic, but those funds expired last year.
The body used the money to produce multicultural services across 12 local government areas during the Delta COVID-19 outbreak, put together frontline response groups after flooding in the Northern Rivers and commissioned a report into the long-term economic and social impacts of the pandemic.
The peak body had been on the frontline in fighting poverty for more than 90 years, shadow family and community services spokeswoman Kate Washington said.
"Unlike the Liberals, NSW Labor will always support our community sector and we're proud to back NCOSS who are leaders in their field," Ms Washington said.