skip to Main Content

Financial counsellors welcome extra funding to help people in hardship

Financial Counselling Australia (FCA) has welcomed Federal Government budget measures which will mean the sector is better equipped to help people in financial hardship.

While FCA is still to receive the detailed breakdown, the Government has announced several measures directly impacting the sector including:

$4.7 million over three years from 2025–26 for the National Debt Helpline (NDH) including the continuation an appointment booking system and live webchat function to support individuals with personal financial difficulty.

The continuation of the STEPS program, an online placement program for financial counselling students.

Expansion of the Money Support Hub to focus on early intervention supports.

Supporting FCA to increase capacity and capability for the financial counselling sector.

Funding of the Small Business Debt Helpline (SBDH) for another two years.

“This money will mean more people will be able to access financial counsellors through the NDH and SBDH. Both helplines provide a vital service to thousands of people every year and demand is only growing,” said the co-CEOs of FCA, Peter Gartlan and Dr Domenique Meyrick.

“This budget is good news for our sector as we work to support people who are struggling with cost-of-living pressures,” they said.

“This investment in financial counselling and capability work is a vote of confidence in our sector which works tirelessly for some of the most vulnerable people in Australia.”

Another encouraging step the government has committed to greater certainty and stability for providers by introducing five-year grant agreements when new grants commence on 1 July 2025.

General cost-of-living measures

FCA is disappointed there has not been an increase for all people on income support.

“Financial counsellors see so many people on Job Seeker and Youth Allowance who are struggling every day to make ends meet,” the co-CEOs said.

There are, however, some positive initiatives which will help ease cost-of-living pressures for our clients. These include: 

  • $6.3 million over three years from 2025–26 (and $2.2 million per year ongoing) for the No Interest Loan Scheme for Vehicles for vulnerable people needing to purchase vehicles for essential use.
  • $11.2 million over three years from 2025–26 (and $3.9 million per year ongoing) for the expansion of the Saver Plus program to enable participants to build financial skills, capabilities and resilience.
  • $300 energy rebates for households and $325 rebates for small businesses.
  • A 10% increase in the Commonwealth Rent Assistance Program
  • $1.8 billion over three years has also been committed to frontline staff at Services Australia, to help manage claims and clear backlogs.
  • Emergency Relief, which provides immediate financial and/or material aid to people in financial crisis.
  • Food Relief, which helps Emergency Relief organisations access a cost-effective supply of food items for people in need.

Financial counsellors work in community-based, not-for-profit organisations and provide FREE and INDEPENDENT support to people experiencing financial hardship.  Services are delivered face-to-face or by phone and webchat through the National Debt Helpline (1800 007 007 and and the Small Business Debt Helpline (1800 413 828).

For comment, please contact Maura Angle on 0418 334 121 or email [email protected].

×Close search