Monday, 04 August 2014 22:16

Major Church Providers: United Stand on Welfare Review Response

In the lead-up to the submission deadline for the Interim Report on Welfare Reform (8 August), Australia’s major church providers have released a statement of key principles for a fair and effective welfare system.

Anglicare Australia, Baptist Care Australia, Catholic Social Services Australia, The Salvation Army and UnitingCare Australia urges the Welfare Reform Reference Group to keep this statement in mind when reviewing feedback on report.

We believe that all people have inherent value, and have the ability to contribute to Australia.

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.

We call on the government to establish a benchmarking process for minimum social security payments that are adequate for all.

These peak organisations provide a substantial share of the care and support services across Australia, working daily with Australia’s most vulnerable and marginalised people.