Media Release

Charities under threat: job, services at risk

UnitingCare Australia acknowledges the Government’s announcement to revise eligibility requirements for charities and not-for-profits applying for the JobKeeper Payment, but more needs to be done. Without important changes, thousands of jobs and critical community services are at risk.

The Morrison Government has said that charities who suffer a 15% decrease in turnover will now be eligible, a change from the original 30%. Yet many charities will still miss out unless tied grants are excluded and turnover is assessed for specific business streams or areas of service delivery.

“Charities often have complex organisational structures and are funded by a variety of grants and income streams. A ‘one size fits all’ approach simply doesn’t work in a practical sense,” said National Director, Claerwen Little.

“Our sector is already under strain. Our volunteer workforce has seen a dramatic decrease in numbers, many of whom are older people. With demand for services increasing every day, we cannot afford to lose a single staff member,” Ms Little said.

“The Prime Minister has said many times that the community sector is ready and willing to support people in this time of need. And we are. Many people are reaching for our services for the first time and we are here to provide those services. But for us to support the community, the Government must support us.”

“We welcome the opportunity to continue working with the Morrison Government to ensure that essentials jobs and services survive the coronavirus crisis.”