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Monday, 21 March 2016 11:58

At last! Recognition Australia must tackle inequality to get the economy working

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Marcelle Mogg conferenceCatholic Social Services Australia (CSSA) welcomes the Australian Labor Party’s commitment to tackle the enduring and growing problems of inequality, poverty, intergenerational disadvantage and unemployment in Australia.

“In an election year it’s critical that all of Australia’s political parties outline how they propose to address the issue of inequality in Australia. We need robust social and economic strategies that are designed to lift people out of poverty. Every person, as a consequence of their inherent dignity, has a right to share in the common goods of this country,” Marcelle Mogg, CEO of Catholic Social Services said.

“CSSA's research through our Dropping off the Edge 2015 report shows that some 3-5 per cent of communities across Australia experience entrenched and persistent disadvantage arising from complex and interrelated factors of social and economic exclusion.

“Improving employment outcomes in disadvantaged communities is one of the ways we can turn this situation around, together with access to safe and affordable housing, support for families experiencing violence, and early intervention initiatives in children’s education. We need meaningful and sustained employment, programs and services in these areas to provide a pathway out of disadvantage for young people and their families.

“Acknowledging the widening gap between rich and poor in Australia, and its detrimental effects for the whole of society in both social and economic terms, is a critical first step.

“Focussing on policies that build communities is the best way to enhance the good of all.

“CSSA has argued for years the importance of addressing income adequacy for those not in paid employment. The current Newstart payment is inadequate to meet the basic needs of life. The ALP’s commitment to an independent review of the Newstart allowance is a most welcome move.

“Providing secure and affordable housing is another problem that must be fixed. We look forward to seeing the strategies from all of Australia’s political parties for addressing housing affordability and homelessness because having a safe and secure home is critical to the social and economic well-being of all Australians,” Ms Mogg said.

Media Contact: Lil Bryant-Johnson 0450 302 020