Victorian taxpayers will fork out $13.8 million to soften the blow of a minimum wage increase for charity and other community services workers.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced the funding for the coming financial year, and another $45 million if his government is re-elected, at the Victorian Council of Social Service's Good Life Summit in Melbourne on Wednesday.
The Fair Work Commission recently decided the minimum wage should increase by 3.3 per cent, however community service workers in their last pay deal only secured a two per cent raise.
"So many of your organisations, perhaps indeed all of them, operate on very tight budgets and never ever want to be put into the difficult situation where you have to choose between the service you provide and the staff that you employ," Mr Andrews told the crowd.
"That's not a choice that you should have to make, that's why I can tell you that we will fully cover the shortfall between the 2017 order and the funding that you have been provided to this point."
Charities and non-government organisations providing community services will share $13.8 million from July to cover the 2018/19 financial year.
Mr Andrews also promised to continue filling the gap over the next four years if re-elected in November.
The summit brought together community, political and business sectors to debate policy on family violence, income, youth justice and health.
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy used the event to announce his party's "HomeStretch" program, which would fund 75 places over two years for young people transitioning from state care, to help them with their education, employment, physical and psychological goals.
An evaluation will be built into the program to ensure it is effective.
"We will provide more support for Victoria's most vulnerable kids," Mr Guy said in a statement.
"I want to break the current cycle of despair that young vulnerable people experience and this initiative will give those young people hope for the future."
Greens leader Samantha Ratnam announced her party's policy to build 40,000 new public housing dwellings over six years from January 1 and stopping the sale of public estates.