PSA to National: give up social bonds, focus on quality services


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The collapse of the government’s first social bonds project should signal the end to experimentation with the way social services are funded, the Public Service Association says.

Talks to set up the first in a proposed series of social bonds have reportedly broken down, with the provider Wise Group withdrawing from the scheme.

The programme had aimed to help people living with mental health problems to find jobs, and should have been in place by now.

“The National government should see the collapse of this project as a signal to stop messing around with alternative funding schemes,” PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay says.

“More than $1.5 million dollars have been spent on the social bonds project so far, and there’s nothing to show for it.

“When these experiments fail to deliver, there are real life people who suffer the consequences.

“And when essential services like Lifeline are struggling for funds and have to close their doors, it’s irresponsible to waste taxpayer money fiddling about with failed funding models.

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“Finance minister Bill English needs to give up on the social bonds project now – and use the money to design and fund excellent social services that deliver on their promises.”