Many people in Victoria experience significant and persistent disadvantage that manifests in disengagement from school, increases in unemployment, homelessness, substance misuse, family violence, contact with the justice system, mental ill-health, and trauma.
These are complex challenges, especially because they intersect, interact, and are often intergenerational.
The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to disproportionately impact those who are already marginalised and magnifying many of these challenges. Further, some of the current economic impacts from COVID-19 we are seeing are causing vulnerability to those who previously had not experienced these risks as a consequence of the rising costs of living and housing becoming unaffordable.
The 2023-24 Victorian Budget provides an important opportunity to respond to the further marginalisation of vulnerable communities experiencing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, it can provide a platform for addressing the disproportionate and place-based impacts of climate change, as well as an opportunity for vital criminal justice reform.
Jesuit Social Services welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the development of the Victorian Government’s State Budget 2023-24.