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Friday, 15 November 2002
Page: 6535


Senator LUDWIG (2:43 PM) —As indicated by removing our amendment in favour of the Democrat amendment, this is a matter that we support. We believe that something needs to be done about this issue. As was revealed in this year's Profiles of debtors, a report published by ITSA, the vast majority of bankrupts are people who are in very vulnerable circumstances—the unemployed being the most likely group to experience personal insolvency. In this regard, one of the matters that we wish to examine in a Senate inquiry is poverty amongst the working poor—to examine the nature and extent of poverty in Australia and the growing divide between the rich and poor. While the government has sought to personalise poverty by labelling the poor `cruisers', `cheats' and `job snobs', Labor believe that it is time for an inquiry to examine and focus attention on the real factors which drive Australians into poverty and bankruptcy.