|Social Welfare||REGIONS HAVE MISSED JOBS GROWTH: WELFARE COMMISSION|
Unemployment up to four times the national average in many regional communities indicates a growing social and economic inequality in Australia, according to Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission National Director Toby O'Connor.
He said that these disadvantaged communities have missed out on the national jobs growth that comes from a decline in the unemployment figure from 10% to 7%.
Mr O'Connor called for Federal Government action. He said: "The benefits of lower interest rates, low inflation and reduced national debt have not flowed to many disadvantaged urban and rural communities. Current policies do not ensure adequare jobs growth and improved economic performance in these regions."
The Catholic Social Welfare Commission yesterday released a discussion paper entitled 'Regional Unemployment and the Indirect Employer: Beyond the Principle of Self-Reliance'. The paper proposes a national development strategy in affected regions that includes public investment and the protection of minimum wages and income support entitlements for unemployed and vulnerable workers.
Mr O'Connor commented: "The document calls on all Australian governments to move beyond the current narrow economic policy principle of 'self-reliance'. We must move beyond requiring communities to be the masters of their own fate at the same time as withdrawing their public funding, programs and services."
The paper is online at www.acswc.org.au/CW2OF7.htm
ACSWC 1:43pm 1/9/99