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Vinnies' Budget plea to Costello to think of poor

The NSW State President of the St Vincent de Paul Society has called on Federal Treasurer Peter Costello to make tonight's Federal Budget statement provide for the dignity of Australia's most vulnerable.

"The budget must be a truly inclusive document that supports the hopes and aspirations of all Australians," he said. "A budget that makes provision for and enables the dignity of society's most vulnerable, and that puts in place a platform for acknowledging the growing number of poor in Australia."

Mr O'Neill said that the widely anticipated tax cuts won't alleviate the poverty of the 20% of Australians who try to exist on less than $400 per week.

"Tax cuts will do little to help more than 800,000 children living in 446,000 jobless households," he said. "These are the people our members see and help every day."

His Excellency Lieutenant General John Sanderson, AC, the Administrator of the Commonwealth is launching the St Vincent de Paul Society Winter Appeal 2004 with the help of the Sydney Swans Australian Rules football team at the Sydney Cricket Ground this morning.

Mr O'Neill called on all tiers of government to collaborate in developing a strategy to tackle poverty head on in a similar way to the successful Irish model. He asked the public to help Vinnies with donations, assuring them that "more than just 94 cents in every dollar is used for people in crisis".

Vinnies calls on a social budget - not tax cuts (St Vincent de Paul Society 10/4/04)

Tax Cuts: WMDs Target Disadvantaged (St Vincent de Paul Society 2/5/04)Catholic Welfare says Treasurer Costello should resist tax cut temptation (CathNews 7/5/04)
Nursing home boost criticised as too little (Sydney Morning Herald 8/5/04)
Catholic Health says surplus could end Medicare pain for Australia's poor (CathNews 4/5/04)
Military archbishop, chaplains criticize abuse of Iraqi prisoners (Catholic News Service 7/5/04)
Tax Cuts Slicing Aged Care Funding Package (Catholic Health Australia 4/5/04)
Catholic office says Vic Budget will help poor (CathNews 5/5/04)
Australian Government Budget 2004-05
Federal Treasurer
ABC Federal Budget site
Families to benefit in big Budget spend (ABC 11/4/04)

11 May 2004