GFC fallout hits aid agencies

IT was the people suffering before the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) hit that were affected by it the most, according to Banora Point Salvation Army Captain Alwyn Robinson.

His comments back up the findings of this year's Anglicare State of the Family report, released on Monday during Anti-Poverty Week.

Anglicare has called the GFC a “wicked problem”- a complex, multi-dimensional issue which will continue to get worse for at-risk families for up to two years before it gets better, despite reports the economy is already bouncing back. Anglicare said employment was the key to dragging the country out of the economic problems.

On the same day, the Federal Government released findings from a survey that showed 34 per cent of people consider their financial circumstances worse due to the GFC.

Mr Robinson told the Tweed Daily News that the Salvation Army at Banora Point was seeing an increase in clients.

“I think we are seeing an increase of clients coming to us, both first-timers and repeat clients,” Mr Robinson said.

“Those people who were already in a bad situation before the economic crisis hit are the ones we are seeing coming in more and more. “We have a set number of resources to give out and they have been exhausted, and we have got extra items from donations which we are giving away as well.”

He said the stocks got replenished monthly and they were always emptied quite quickly.

Saint Joseph's Saint Vincent de Paul president Graham Murphy said there was a big shortage of accommodation for struggling families on the Tweed, and his emergency food budget had skyrocketed.

“Our food bill is up to $7000 - it has nearly doubled in the past 12 months,” Mr Murphy said.

He said Saint Vincent de Paul was “fully aware of the situation” caused by the GFC and said it had made things worse.

“But on the bright side, the cycle has turned, and it is starting to pick up a bit and we hope it picks up a lot,” Mr Murphy said.

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