FLEX grants to improve financial literacy Wed 17 October 2012 Lara Giddings Premier Rebecca White Parliamentary Secretary for the Cost of Living A new $1 million grants program will fund initiatives to help low income families better manage their finances. The Premier, Lara Giddings, and Parliamentary Secretary for the Cost of Living, Rebecca White, today announced the opening of applications for the Financial Literacy Exchange (FLEX) Grants Program. "The Program will fund practical initiatives to give vulnerable Tasmanians increased access to financial mentoring and budgeting help, as well as referrals to specialist advice and government services," Ms Giddings said. "Many low income households already use good household management strategies, but these grants will help families to better plan and respond to unexpected challenges. "Paying everyday bills, being able to afford to celebrate Christmas, and giving the kids the best start for the school year are just some of the costs that add stress to families and relationships." Ms Giddings said people displaced by changes in the manufacturing and forestry sector, along with single parents, the elderly and low income households are all a focus of the FLEX Program. "A report released yesterday by the Salvation Army found 66 per cent of households who accessed financial counselling early on resolved their problems, which highlights the importance of the programs these grants seek to support." Ms White said FLEX will help ensure Tasmanians on low incomes can access support before reaching financial crisis. "Community organisations, community hubs, Local Government, and businesses are particularly encouraged to apply for a FLEX grant. "The FLEX Grants Program recognises the importance of collaborations to help build sustainable community networks and improve financial capability. "I would encourage applicants to think about how they can work together with other organisations to deliver projects through the Program. "These relationships build local support networks that can give people the confidence to connect with help before financial pressures become overwhelming." The full guidelines for the FLEX Grants Program are available at www.dpac.tas.gov.au and applications close 3 December 2012. The $1 million FLEX Grants Program is part of the $5 million Cost of Living 2012-13 Tasmanian Budget commitment.