Vinnies says poor are losing

The gap between rich and poor is growing, despite government claims to the contrary, the St Vincent de Paul Society has found.

The Courier-Mail reports that while Prime Minister John Howard has said low-income households have enjoyed strong income growth, the St Vincent de Paul Society says official figures contradict this claim.

A paper by the Society's John Wicks says Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data shows more than 8 million people have disposable incomes of less than $21,000 a year, with 4.5 million living in households with a total income of less than $400 a week.

From 1994 to 2003, real mean incomes for the poorest Australians grew at a slower rate than those on higher incomes.

For example, someone earning $269 a week received only a 12% rise - or $32.28.

Medium earners on $449 a week enjoyed a 14%, or $62.86.

And high income earners, on a real mean weekly income of $975, received a 16% or $156 boost.

Mr Wicks said the federal Budget tax cuts were likely to increase the gap between rich and poor..

"Given the huge bias in Government largesse towards those on higher incomes, outlined in the May 2005 Budget, there is no doubt that income inequality will grow even further once the tax cuts and welfare reforms are implemented," his report said.

The poorest would lose about $280 a year while those on $100,000 a year would be $3252 better off, he said.

The paper recommended the federal and state governments set up a national strategy for addressing inequality and poverty.

St Vinnies says poor are losing (The Courier Mail 30/5/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
St Vincent de Paul Society | The Reality of Income Inequality in Australia (text of Social Policy Issues Paper 1, 29/5/05)

Vinnies Victoria to launch Winter Appeal (CathNews 25/5/05)
Children's advocate to deliver Vinnies' Ozanam Lecture (CathNews 24/5/05)

A ray of sunshine (The Southern Cross, June 2005)
Out of sight, out of mind: Homeless refugees hidden in jam-packed houses (The Southern Cross, June 2005)
Vinnies Challenges PM's Views on Income Inequality (St Vincent de Paul Society 27/5/05)
Planting the seeds of recovery (Catholic Weekly 29/5/05)
Hailstorms highlight plight of homeless (St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland 23/5/05)

30 May 2005