Catholic Welfare: poverty report a lost opportunity

The head of Catholic Welfare said today the Government's response to a major Senate report on poverty is a lost opportunity for the country's battlers.

Mr Quinlan, Executive Director of Catholic Welfare Australia, said the Senate Report, A hand up not a hand out: Renewing the fight against poverty, provides a blueprint for the battle against poverty in Australia, but all 95 of the Committees' recommendations were dismissed.

"The Government's refusal to commit to a national poverty strategy is very disappointing, especially at a time of record national prosperity," Mr Quinlan said.

"As a community we have an obligation to help the most disadvantaged people.

"Poverty is not all about income. There are very obvious links between poverty and employment, education, changes in family circumstances, housing and health, adding to the hard times felt by many Australians," he said.

"Over half a million people are still unemployed, and of these, more than 320,000 have been receiving Newstart for more than 12 months. More than one in five part-time workers would prefer to work longer hours.

"Two out of every three children who need emergency accommodation are turned away every night.

"Nearly half a million adults are on waiting lists for public dental treatment, with some people waiting up to five years.

"The Report provides options to improve the plight of many Australians. But their future remains bleak without targeted funding and the political will to change the current situation," Mr Quinlan said.

Senate poverty report a lost opportunity (Catholic Welfare Australia 9/3/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
A hand up not a hand out: Renewing the fight against poverty - Report on poverty and financial hardship
Catholic Welfare Australia

10 Mar 2006