Vinnies warns Govt on welfare changes
The St Vincent de Paul Society has said that the Federal Government's proposals to get more people off welfare and into work are short-sighted.
The ABC reported the comments on Friday as Feder Cabinet was preparing to meet in Canberra to discuss the new "welfare to work" changes.
The Government has signalled it is likely to overhaul the system used to determine the eligibility of some welfare recipients, and encourage many to enter the work force.
Dr John Falzon from St Vincent de Paul says he is opposed to any changes that will further marginalise people who are already disadvantaged.
"If the motive behind that is to reduce pressures on the budget then we find that absolutely abhorrent, the notion that the most vulnerable members of our community should be forced to bear that burden on their shoulders," he said.
Prime Minister John Howard says any changes will be made in a sensible and supportive way, and no-one will be forced to work if they are unable to do so.
"It's not a question of denying them benefits, it's a question of helping them back into the work force, and if that can be done in sensible supportive way, and that includes the provision of child care places," he said.
"That's part of it, you can't change the system and not give sole parents the wherewithal to take advantage of these changes," he said.
Charity warns Govt on welfare changes (ABC News 15/4/05)
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St Vincent de Paul Society
18 Apr 2005