In the lead-up to the State Budget, Victoria's Conference of Leaders of Religious Congregations has called upon the Kennett Government to take into account the needs of the poor and the marginalised.
    Their submission says priority should be given to the 'elimination of poverty, patterns of social exclusion and the deeply entrenched marginalisation of so many groups'. Representing over 2,000 religious (and hundreds of thousands of lay people - employees, students or clients) in a range of social welfare, health and education operations across Victoria, the Conference's views are contained in its discussion paper "Not just a Budget - A JUST Budget" currently being distributed.
    Spokesperson and the convenor of its Social Action Committee, Sister Joan Power, said that it was with a sense of concern for the well-being of the people of Victoria, "particularly the poor and the marginalised", that the CLRCV had framed its submission to the State government.
    The CLRCV submission describes how, in recent years, governments had relied heavily on market mechanisms to eliminate distortions and inefficiency in the economy: "However, for the market to be a good servant rather than a cruel master, outcomes of social 'reforms' need to be evaluated carefully for equity and fairness. If required, governments must be prepared wisely to regulate markets so that the economy better serves human needs and social values, " Sr Power said.

1:27pm 4/5/99 / SFPR


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