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Catholic Welfare's final election plea for disadvantaged

Catholic Welfare Australia (CWA) has issued a statement regretting that Australia's 'have nots' have missed out in the major political parties' "vote buying extravaganza", but stressed that it's not too late to offer something for the homeless, hungry, mentally ill and chronically unemployed.

"The fact that we are seeing the huge Federal Budget surplus being whittled down with no assistance to the very poor is a disgrace," said CWA executive director Frank Quinlan. "The majority of financial spending has not been well targeted and those who suffer the most will continue to suffer."

Mr Quinlan admitted that there has been "some tinkering around the fringes", but stressed that "this is not enough".

"In a time of such economic prosperity we should be taking advantage of the good times and helping those who need it most. Can Australia leave money in the bank while some don't have a roof over their head?" said Mr Quinlan. "We should be spending at least some of the surplus to ensure that every Australian has equal access to health, education, housing, child care, aged and disability care and employment."

Mr Quinlan argued that many of the policies we have seen in this Election campaign in fact widen the gap between haves and have-nots.

He referred specifically to single parents, families, people with a disability, aged pensioners, and young and mature-aged people seeking full-time, permanent employment.

"We hear a lot about Australia's wealth "trickling down" to the poor as a result of our strong economy," he said. "In a time of record surplus, we should be giving those who have not enjoyed the benefits of economic growth a reliable "hand up" with specifically targeted programs. If we can't do this now, what hope will there be in less prosperous times?" Mr Quinlan concluded.

Meanwhile Catholic Welfare issued an earlier statement, on Friday, praising Labor for its commitment to a National Commission for Children and Young People.

Mr Quinlan said Catholic Welfare has "keenly sought" such a National Agenda for years.

"In providing a range of parenting education, counselling and other family services, Catholic Welfare Australia Member Organisations witness first hand the importance of building parenting skills and support systems for families under stress," he said. "Supporting parents and families in their role as care givers and nurturers must be a fundamental feature of the work of the proposed Commission."

Have nots missing out in vote buying extravaganza (Catholic Welfare Australia 3/10/04)
Australian children will benefit from National Commissioner for Children and Young People (Catholic Welfare Australia 1/10/04)

Catholic Welfare Australia
Labor's Tax Policy goes some way to addressing structural poverty in this country (Catholic Welfare Australia 7/9/04)
Meet the Candidates in Latrobe Victoria (Catholic Welfare Australia 24/9/04)
Catholic Welfare says ALP Tax Policy "goes some way" towards poverty fix (CathNews 8/9/04)
Labor's Tax Policy goes some way to addressing structural poverty in this country (Catholic Welfare Australia 7/9/04)
Tax relief for all Australian taxpayers & A better Family Payments system (ALP Tax Policy text download)
ALP's billions for battlers (The Mercury 8/9/04)
Unions back ALP tax plans (Sydney Morning Herald/AAP 7/9/04)
Some gains but some pain for jobless families (Brotherhood of St Laurence 7/9/04)
Tax Plan Needs More Work (Council of Social Services of NSW 7/9/04)
Catholic Welfare Australia

Poverty emerging as major election issue (CathNews 30/8/04)
Poverty emerges as political issue (Society of St Vincent de Paul 27/8/04)
A Fair Deal for All - NetAct Releases Pre-Election Kit 2004 (NetAct 30/8/04)
Red tape ties up help for homeless (The Advertiser 30/8/04)
Sisters of Charity Advocacy Network (to download NetAct Election Kit)
Poverty emerges as political issue (No More Poverty coalition 27/8/04)
U.S. Catholic officials worried by rise in number of poor, uninsured (Catholic News Service 27/8/04)

Pax Christi [USA] says voting for common good involves many issues (Catholic News Service 1/10/04)

5 Oct 2004