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Income inequality getting worse under John Howard.



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MEDIA RELEASE

Senator Chris Evans Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Shadow Minister for Social Security

30 May 2005

INCOME INEQUALITY GETTING WORSE UNDER JOHN HOWARD

A new report released by the St Vincent de Paul Society today condemns the Howard Government's management of social security.

The report is a welcome contribution to the welfare debate and highlights an important issue for social policy makers.

The report concludes that income inequality in Australia is getting worse and that it will deteriorate further as a result of the unfair changes to welfare and poorly targeted tax cuts announced in the budget.

St Vincent de Paul concludes that as a result of the budget changes, 'there is no doubt that income inequality will grow even further once the tax cuts and welfare reforms are implemented'.

Labor's Shadow Minister for Social Security, Senator Chris Evans, said: 'The growing gap between rich and poor in Australia is a damning indictment of the Howard Government.

'Labor is deeply concerned that the gap will increase further as a result of the cruel welfare cuts for single parents and people with disabilities that were announced in the budget.

'Simply cutting payments for people on welfare does nothing to help them get paid work, which is the best way of getting out of poverty.

'By cutting payments to vulnerable Australians who are already financially disadvantaged, the Howard Government's budget will increase income inequality rather than reduce it.

'The budget changes therefore do nothing to address the serious issues that have been raised by the St Vincent de Paul Society in this important new report.'

For further information: John McNamara 0418 308 599