Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Saver Plus helping thousands of Australian families

Joint Media Release with:

  • Jenny Macklin Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Minister for Disability Reform

  • Julie Collins Minister for Community Services, Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Minister for the Status of Women

A new report released today has found that the Gillard Government funded Saver Plus initiative is helping thousands of Australian families improve their financial literacy and grow their savings.

The Australian Government is investing $26 million to help the Brotherhood of St Laurence deliver the program until 2015.

The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin helped launch the Evaluation of Saver Plus Phase 4 (2009-2011) in Melbourne today.

“We know that many Australian families need help with the costs of living, which is why initiatives like Saver Plus are so important,” Ms Macklin said.

Saver Plus is proving to be a real success, with more than 7,000 people completing the program from 1 July 2009 through to 30 June 2011.

“This makes Saver Plus one of the largest matched savings programs in the world.

“The report showed that 83 per cent of participants successfully completed the program between 1 July 2009 and 30 June 2011, reaching their savings goal.

Saver Plus provides people with financial education and gives them an incentive to save for their children’s education costs such as stationery, school excursions or a new laptop computer.

“Developed by the Brotherhood of St Laurence and ANZ, Saver Plus is delivered in 61 locations across Australia in partnership with community organisations including Berry Street, The Benevolent Society and The Smith Family.

“The report also found that 87 per cent of participants are still saving the same amount or more than they did while in the program.

“More than 84 per cent felt they have more control over their finances and almost 93 per cent reported that achieving their goals increased their self-esteem.”

The Minister for Community Services Julie Collins said the program also provided participants with financial and budgeting education to improve financial self-reliance.

“There is also a real incentive to save, as every dollar becomes two dollars in the bank,” Ms Collins said.

“The most popular items people were saving for over the past 18 months were computers and laptops, school uniforms and shoes, school books and stationary and camps and excursions.

“The Gillard Government will continue to work with community organisations, such as the Brotherhood of St Laurence, and the corporate sector to help the most disadvantaged Australians.

“We have invested $486.0 million over four years in financial management programs, which help people overcome financial adversity, better manage their money, participate in their communities and plan for the future.”