Media Release by The Hon Paul Fletcher MP

Coalition rolls out $73m financial literacy program to help get household budgets on track

The Coalition Government is backing Australians who struggle with their finances by offering $73.5 million in help to get their household budgets into shape.

Federal Minister for Families and Social Services Paul Fletcher today announced the funding to support 50 organisations delivering financial counselling and financial competency services.

“Supporting vulnerable people who need help to organise their finances is part of the Liberal-National Government’s broader plan to make communities more stable,” Mr Fletcher said.

“We’re conscious of the impact of the drought and the fact that Christmas is looming which is a time that can put families under additional financial stress.

“These are targeted services that give other Australians a hand-up and in the long run they’re going to make many people less reliant on welfare.”

Mr Fletcher said the grants comprise $62 million for financial counselling and $11.5 million for the Commonwealth Financial Counselling Helpline.

“All of these services are free, voluntary and confidential. They help people who want to have a go,” Mr Fletcher said.

“These services offer people one-on-one, intensive support and they boost employment readiness.

“Making over-the-phone counselling services available means we can reach people in regional and remote areas who would otherwise be without this support.”

Mr Fletcher said 112,400 people have accessed Commonwealth financial counselling services in the last year.

“This funding is in addition to $50 million I recently announced for a range of services including financial counselling for problem gamblers, financial literacy and no interest loans,” Mr Fletcher said.