25 May 2005


"This budget will be judged as a lost opportunity to bring about real change for the most disadvantaged" said Frank Quinlan, Executive director of Catholic Welfare Australia in a response to the recent budget announced by the Australian Treasurer. He expressed dismay that "in a budget that returns a surplus of almost $9 billion, with all the economic security that sound budgeting brings, homeless Australians will not find any significant new programs to increase the national public housing stock and the mentally ill will not find radical new measures in our health system."

"In a budget that implements very significant and welcome investments in pre-marriage education, family relationships support, and relationship counselling – single parent families face declining financial support and increased pressure to return to the paid workforce. Those who may wish to remain at home to invest in their children and our communities find their choices undervalued by a 'work-first' agenda."

He went on to point out that if Australia is not prepared to invest in the poor or address the disadvantage experienced by single parents, the disabled and the mentally ill at a time when the nation is enjoying a period of sustained economic prosperity one wonders when the plight of these groups might ever be seriously addressed.

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