|Social Welfare||RESPONSIBLE BUDGET LEAVES SOCIAL DEFICIT|
While welcoming a range of family-related initiatives announced in last night's Federal Budget, the Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission's overall assessment is that it is "drastaically short on social imperatives".
A statement from the Commission criticised the Government's persistence with the Work for the Dole Scheme, which is regards as a failure. "With access to a $5.4b Budget surplus, the Government is content to push an ineffectual and punitive range of programs whaich do nothing to improve the prospects of long-term job seekers," it said.
The statement also criticised the crackdown on rental assistance for low-income people and families, which it says will need to be implemented with caution and compassion. "It would be a tragic irony if this initiative undermined any positive effects of the youth homelessness early intervention proposal."
The Commission also points out the opportunity the Budget surplus provides to alter the proposed tax reform package in order to give a better deal to low-income families.
|1:54pm 12/5/99 / ACSWC|