"You Don't Build A Strong Economy On The Back Of A Fractured Society" - Vinnies

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11th May 2010, 10:03pm - Views: 335
You don't build a strong economy on the back of a fractured
society " - Vinnies

The St Vincent de Paul Society has warned the Federal Government of the costs of continuing to neglect the incomes of unemployed people.

"You don't build a strong economy on the back of a fractured society," said Chief Executive, Dr John Falzon.

"This Budget fails to heal the fracture. With over 600,000 unemployed Australians, we are still stuck with a Newstart Allowance that is less than half the minimum wage. The OECD describes unemployment benefits as the first line of defence for those experiencing a job loss. With no real adjustment for unemployment benefits since 1994, these Australians are forced to live below the OECD poverty line.

"An income below the poverty-line is not a stick to drive people into a job. It is a brake on participation and a puncture in the heart of fairness and dignity."

"A fractured society will cost the economy dearly. The social costs, the health costs, the economic costs, are already apparent.

"We called for an increase of $45 a week for single base unemployment payments. We called for genuine inclusion of people doing it tough as sole parents and as battlers on the margins of the labour market."

"The people we represent continue to be forgotten and pushed out," said National President, Mr Syd Tutton. "Our members right across Australia are witnesses to their exclusion. People have been forced to rely on charity and we will be there for them. But what they yearn for is not charity but respect."

Contact: Dr John Falzon 0421332247

SOURCE: St Vincent de Paul Society National Council

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