Petition calls for national poverty inquiry
Justice and Peace Promoter for the Archdiocese of Sydney, Sr Aileen Crowe has thrown her support behind a petition calling for a Royal Commission into poverty in Australia.
Initiated by Victoria's Coalition Against Poverty, the petition calls on the federal government to bring all pensions and benefits up to 25 per cent of the weekly average total male earnings. It also calls for the establishment of a Royal Commission into poverty in Australia, with the aim of developing measures to establish an adequate standard of living for all, and to eradicate poverty.
"I'd certainly endorse (the petition), and I'd encourage parishes to get involved. I think the government's in a state of denial (over poverty)," Sr Aileen told The Catholic Weekly. "It's very important. I'd back it to the hilt.
"With the restructuring of the economy, unskilled and low-skilled workers have dropped out of the equation," Sr Aileen said.
"I think an awareness of the problem of poverty is desperately needed," she said.
Seeking to highlight the problem of poverty in Australia, the petition's organisers drew attention to last year's United Nations' Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights' request to the Australian government to set an official poverty line. So far that request has not been met. It is estimated that up to two million Australians live in poverty, including one in eight children.