Reports show Saver Plus is helping people on low incomes
The Parliamentary Secretary for Community Services, Julie Collins, today launched two reports which highlight the great success of the Saver Plus program.
Saver Plus is a matched-savings and financial education program helping people on low incomes develop a saving habit. The Saver Plus program was developed by the Brotherhood of St Laurence and ANZ.
The Gillard Government is investing $27 million over the next four years to deliver Saver Plus.
The program was analysed in two new reports, Many Faces of Saving: the Social Dimensions of Saver Plus by the Brotherhood of St Laurence and the Evaluation of Saver Plus Past Participants by RMIT.
Ms Collins said RMIT’s evaluation report showed that 87 per cent of people who participated in the program between 2006 and 2009 are still saving the same amount or more than they did while in the program.
“RMIT research found 81 per cent of Saver Plus participants said that they were now better-able to cope with unexpected expenses than before they took part in the program,” Ms Collins said.
“Another key finding from the evaluation was that 68 per cent of participants felt more confident in dealing with banks and other financial institutions, and 84 per cent said they were now encouraging other family members to save.
“The Brotherhood of St Laurence’s report found participants valued the MoneyMinded workshops, particularly the information about services and resources and education around credit and debt.
“This was echoed by the majority of Saver Plus workers, who felt the workshops provided the greatest benefit to participants by teaching new concepts and skills and providing an opportunity to be a part of a group, interact with others and share ideas.
“These reports are evidence that Saver Plus has been very effective in meeting its aim of assisting low-income individuals to develop saving habits and improve their financial literacy.
“The reports demonstrate just how important Saver Plus is in helping vulnerable Australians become more financially self-reliant and how vital it is that we continue to find innovative ways to support people who are disadvantaged.
“This is why in this year’s Budget, the Government committed a further $52 million over four years to support the innovative programs such as Saver Plus, NILS(R) and StepUP loans.
“With initiatives such as Saver Plus, we are now connecting people to financial support services and, in the long term, assisting them and their families to increase their social and economic participation in society.”