The community sector is approaching "crisis point", as the JobSeeker coronavirus supplement and JobKeeper wage subsidy are set to be wound back at the end of the month, the peak body for the sector has warned.
The increased rate of the unemployment payment is set to decrease by $300 a fortnight at the end of September. The JobKeeper subsidy will also decrease and some businesses will no longer qualify for the payment.
Charities and community groups expect the demands on their services to grow, at the same time some of them also lose access to JobKeeper payments, making it harder to deliver help to those who need it.
A survey of community groups by the Australian Council of Social Service has found 81 per cent of community sector workers said the increased JobSeeker payment had been positive for their clients and communities, and a similar effect had been produced by the JobKeeper subsidy.
At the same time, just over one-third of organisations said their financial position had worsened due to the pandemic, while another 38 per cent said it had remained steady.
While government funding had increased or remained the same for many organisations, they had lost public donations, investment income, grants and commercial services.
Almost 30 per cent expected their financial position to deteriorate further as the pandemic's effects continue to be felt.
Three in five workers reported their had been an overall increase in demand for their services since the pandemic hit. Almost 90 per cent of services for migrants and multicultural communities reported increased numbers of clients, something ACOSS says reflects the way people on temporary visas have been left out of government support.
"The community sector is fast approaching crisis point as we see the anticipated collision of cuts to income support, worsening financial pressure and an end to government funding for equal pay," said ACOSS chief executive Cassandra Goldie.
"Community sector workers are clear that more adequate income support payments are making a big difference for people's ability to meet basic needs, such as buying winter clothes for their kids, replacing broken white goods and repairing cars," she said.
"Service workers are fearful of what the impending cuts at the end of the month and at Christmas will mean for people and the demand it will place on the community sector."