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Australia's inequality must be tackled

Mar 17, 2016, 11:32 AM by Anglicare Australia

“Anglicare Australia has for years called for public policy debates that frame economic outcomes as the measure of good social and environmental policy, and that economic activity is not an end in itself,” Executive Director, Kasy Chambers said today.

“Labor’s social policy agenda released last night is encouraging, in that addressing inequality has been put at the centre of social and economic policy.

“In our Budget submission this year we indicated a key role of government is to develop a society that is equitable.

“The impact of growing inequity in the paid work force – and the insecurity and poverty that comes with many short term jobs – is now showing up at the Anglicare services that deliver financial counselling, emergency relief and family support.

“So it is encouraging to see a dialogue around the importance of secure and meaningful jobs for people, and that greater equality is a pre-condition of growth rather than a hoped for by-product.

“Given the expenditure on social welfare and associated services, we need governments to think about social policy in a deep and thorough way, and so avoid knee-jerk reactions to a particular event or situation.

“If we want an Australia where no one is left behind and we all get to share in the benefits of our nation’s growing prosperity, we need public policy debates to be based on evidence, not personalities or vested interests.

“This document makes a great start, but whether we get that sound public policy debate is in the hands of politicians, the media and interest groups.

“Anglicare Australia looks forward to making a positive contribution to this debate.”