Vinnies says Howard legacy will spoil Christmas for poor

St Vincent de Paul National CEO John Falzon has said the previous government's welfare to work arrangements will spoil Christmas for many single mums, people with disabilities and unemployed people.

National CEO John Falzon says up to 2000 vulnerable households could be left in dire straits due to Centrelink breaches over the holiday period.

He says "past policy disasters" by the government agency could see the suspension of all income to families and individuals for up to eight weeks.

"We know that in the quarter ending 31 December 2006, 3984 people were forced to live for 8 weeks without any income," Dr Falzon said.

"Our members saw many of these households last year and delivered Christmas hampers and toys.

"We have already received calls from people breached this year and know that, while Centrelink offices are shut, our volunteers will again be delivering a little hope to households otherwise pushed to the margins of society.

"We will not let the Ebenezer Scrooge of past policy destroy Christmas for families this year," he said.

Dr Falzon added that Vinnies welcomes the new Labor Government's commitment to reviewing the current welfare-to-work arrangements for single mums, people with disabilities and unemployed people.

"We are looking forward to a comprehensive review particularly in the context of the new Government's Social Inclusion Strategy," he said.

"It was consistently rejected by the Coalition Government, even when it featured as the key recommendation of the Senate Poverty Inquiry Report in 2004.

"It's time to look honestly at the structures that push people to the margins rather than demonising and excluding people.

Past policy disasters make Scrooge happy this Christmas (St VIncent de Paul Society 17/12/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
St Vincent de Paul Society

Vinnies Christmas appeal aims to help renters (CathNews 23/11/07)
Vinnies welcomes Labor commitment to homeless (CathNews 07/11/07)
Welfare agency lists priorities for 2007 budget (CathNews 11/12/06)
Vinnies says "no" to Govt money (CathNews 6/4/06)
Vinnies rejects welfare reforms (CathNews 22/11/05)
Vinnies' Budget plea to Costello to think of poor (CathNews 11/5/04)
Vinnies puts homelessness, mental health on the agenda (CathNews 18/10/07)

17 Dec 2007

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