NSW Premier Promotes Social Bonds

Added by on March 6, 2011

Some $25 million will be set aside for government social bonds in a pilot project for non-governmental early intervention programmes if the government is re-elected, say NSW Premier Kristina Keneally.

The scheme, based on a similar bond system in the UK, would provide $10 million to initiatives to prevent young people from ending up in juvenile detention centres; $10 million would be set aside for families at risk; and $5 million would be allocated to disability services under the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care.

The bonds would not work as traditional bonds, but would rather allow private investors to invest in social programmes run by non-governmental actors. If the programmes are successful and thus deliver savings to the public sector then investors would see a return on their investment.

“Social Impact Bonds increase the amount of money available to governments to invest in early intervention without having to cut services they are already delivering,” Ms Keneally told media. As such, the bonds would complement, rather than replace, government funding for social services.

Ms Keneally is due to start a three-day tour of the Hunter region, promoting her $913 million Fairness for Families scheme.  She remains “defiantly optimistic” about winning the upcoming election.