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Budget non-event for poor but Govt delivers on aged care


Fr Joe Caddy of Catholic Welfare Australia has said the Government's choice to offer an election year Federal Budget tax break only to high income earners "shows that the votes of the poor are not worth buying".

While admitting that changes to the Family Tax Benefit would "bring some welcome relief to families who are struggling", he summed up Treasurer Peter Costello's (pictured) ninth Budget by saying it lacked a strategy.

"Where is the access to affordable housing, employment and education opportunities and other essential services for the long-term unemployed, for people living in disadvantaged rural and urban communities ... the list goes on."

Meanwhile Francis Sullivan of Catholic Health Australia (CHA) described the $2.2 billion over five years Aged Care Package as "welcome relief to a sector facing a crisis".

"The Budget delivers a number of measures that CHA has been calling for," he said. "The $877.8 million conditional adjustment payment over four years on top of the current indexation arrangements goes a long way to meeting the current shortfall"

Mr Sullivan said the increased funding will "lead to a more professional industry", but noted that there are a number of strings attached to the package, and that it does not take effect until the second half of next year.

SOURCE
Vote of the poor not worth buying (Catholic Welfare Australia 11/5/04)
Government Delivers It's Best Budget for Aged Care (Catholic Health Australia 11/5/04)

LINKS
Federal Government Budget site
Schools to get lesson in values (The Age 12/5/04)
$2.2 billion for aged-care system (The Age 12/5/04)
$19bn to win family vote (The Age 12/5/04)
Vinnies' Budget plea to Costello to think of poor (CathNews 11/5/04)
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)



12 May 2004