Church Stand on Welfare Review Response
5 August 2014 at 11:29 am
Australia’s major church providers have released a statement detailing key principles for a fair and effective welfare system In the lead-up to the submission deadline for the Interim Report on Welfare Reform on August 8.
Anglicare Australia, Baptist Care Australia, Catholic Social Services Australia, The Salvation Army and UnitingCare Australia have urged the Welfare Reform Reference Group to keep the principles in mind when reviewing feedback on the report.
And the group has called on the Federal Government to establish a benchmarking process for minimum social security payments that are adequate for all.
“We believe that all people have inherent value, and have the ability to contribute to Australia,” the statement said.
“Participation and engagement requires access to income, healthcare, education, essential services, and housing.
“We believe that, as a society, we all have a responsibility – individually, in business, via our government, and through our communities – to enable access to the resources people need to live their lives with dignity and respect.
“We believe that there must be a social safety net, which provides an adequate level of income to people who aren’t earning enough through paid employment to enable a decent quality of life. This safety net is an important protection against poverty, and should be able to be relied upon by every person in need.
“As the peak organisations we provide a substantial share of the care and support services across Australia, working daily with Australia’s most vulnerable and marginalised people.”
The Federal Government’s Interim review into Australia’s welfare system, headed by former Mission Australia CEO Patrick McClure was released for consultation in June.
The review called A New System for Better Employment and Social Outcomes identified four main pillars of reform: simpler and sustainable income support system; strengthening individual and family capability; engaging with employers; building community capacity.
The Not for Profit sector has been given six weeks to respond.
Major church providers say they will be lodging their submissions on the Interim Report on Friday.