Vinnies has called on Australia’s political parties to come up with policies that demonstrate compassion and concern for the more than three million disadvantaged Australians.
The national president of the St
Vincent de Paul Society, John Moore, said disadvantaged Australians were “treated like refugees”.
“Like refugees the world over, these millions of disadvantaged Australians do not feel safe,” he said. “They
are concentrated in areas forgotten by global prosperity and are identifiable by postcodes. They have substandard housing, poor health, high mortality, no jobs and no way out.”
Mr Moore said the
international crisis should not be used as an expedient way of ignoring the dire economic circumstances of Australia’s own poor, as well as, increasingly, middle-income Australian families.
pay a high price as a nation if we allow millions of Australians to be disowned,” he said.
He referred to the Society’s May report, Two Australias: Addressing Inequality and Poverty, saying that the gap
between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ had grown alarmingly.
Each corporate collapse had seen the wealthy guarding their wealth, while struggling workers lost their jobs and entitlements and were often not even
entitled to social security.
“There is little fairness in a society that consigns more and more families to the scrap heap as jobs disappear, as regions become wastelands, and as the market fails the
people,” he said.
“We hope for political parties that will ensure justice for the disowned. This is the leadership we are looking for.”
He called on politicians to come up with policies that ensured
justice for Australia’s “disowned” and to provide the necessary leadership in the social policy area.
“We will not be silent while there is one set of rules for the rich and another for the rest,” he said.