Posted: May 17th, 2013 | Author: media.room | Filed under: Media | No Comments »
UnitingCare Australia’s National Director, Lin Hatfield Dodds said the Coalition’s decision to cut the Income Support Bonus, should it form government after the Federal election in September, will deliver a significant blow to low income Australians including people on Newstart, Youth Allowance and Parenting payments.
Speaking shortly after the Budget reply speech in Canberra last night, Ms Hatfield Dodds said the budget must not return to surplus on the backs of the most vulnerable people.
“At less than the cost of a cup of coffee per week, the Income Support Bonus is paid twice a year to some of the poorest Australians to help with life’s basics,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said.
“Federal budgets are about choices and priorities.
“Australia is doing well by international standards. This commitment to cut back on meagre support for our poorest citizens does not bode well for Australian families should the Coalition form government at the September election.
“We welcome the Coalition’s support of historic disability insurance reforms. We think there is some merit in revisiting tax reform, and we look forward to ongoing dialogue with the Coalition in relation to important public policy issues in the lead up to the Federal election,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said.
Media contact, Judith Tokley on 0408 824 306 or 02 6249 6717.
Posted: May 13th, 2013 | Author: media.room | Filed under: Media | No Comments »
UnitingCare Australia’s National Director, Lin Hatfield Dodds said today that long run social priorities can be delivered in this year’s Federal Budget by redistributing existing revenue and scaling back wasteful tax concessions.
“The starting point for the 2013 Budget is that the economy is performing well, but is vulnerable to weak international conditions. While this context does not give the Government a lot of room to move, it highlights the importance of not wasting money on tax concessions that have little merit,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said.
“Budgets are all about choices and priorities. There are opportunities to fund important programs by scaling back tax concessions that do nothing for everyday Australians.
“New spending on disability insurance and education reforms will help give every Australian a fair go. We need to make sure that funding and taxation decisions also support a fair go.
“Past decisions have given too much money to the wealthiest Australians, who do not need this support. Over half of the tax support for superannuation goes to the wealthiest five percent of superannuants. This is a waste of precious tax dollars.
“Middle class welfare payments such as the baby bonus, the private health insurance rebate and family tax benefits to middle income families could be redistributed to ensure people who are genuinely disadvantaged can get the support they need.
“Choices made in recent years about personal income tax and out of date business tax settings mean we don’t have that money to spend on decent welfare payments or adequate funding for essential social services.
“We should also look at closing some business loopholes that would both save money and improve outcomes. Subsidies to fossil fuel use cost $10 billion a year, and should be removed or scaled back.
“If we went back to 2007 personal income tax rates, adjusted for inflation, this year we would have collected an extra $25 billion in tax. Most of this money would come from the top 10 percent of households, who received more in tax cuts and enjoyed bigger gains than the bottom 80 per cent where most of us live.
“In this year’s budget, UnitingCare Australia will be looking for measures that address the inequity of current superannuation tax concessions and we’ll be looking at tax arrangements on family trusts, capital gains tax and negative gearing.
“And we will be looking for changes to welfare payments so people have enough money to live on, while they parent, study, or skill up and search for work. Central to the current inequity in welfare payment levels is the absence of funding for a system that adequately sets and indexes income support payments,” Ms Hatfield Dodds said.
Lin Hatfield Dodds will be available in the lead up to the Federal Budget to comment on these and other important social and fiscal matters that impact on the well-being of Australian society.
The UnitingCare network provides social services to over 2 million people each year in 1,500 sites in remote, rural and metropolitan Australia. UnitingCare employs 35,000 staff and 24,000 volunteers.
Media contact, Judith Tokley on 0408 824 306 or 02 6249 6717.
Posted: April 26th, 2013 | Author: media.room | Filed under: Media | No Comments »
The Uniting Church in Australia has offered prayers for the safety and well-being of two Christian bishops reported kidnapped in Syria earlier this week.
The President of the Uniting Church in Australia’s national Assembly, Rev Professor Andrew Dutney has condemned the kidnapping in which a deacon was killed, and urged Church members to join in prayer for their safe release.
“The Uniting Church in Australia deplores this senseless act of violence against our Christian brothers carrying out their ministry,” said Mr Dutney.
“Our prayers and our deepest sympathies are with the deacon who was killed, his family and colleagues.
“We pray to God for the safety and security of Archbishop Ibrahim and Archbishop Yazigi, for their congregations and for the people of Syria.
“We pray also for peace in Syria and the liberation of clergy and people held captive there and in other parts of the world.”
The Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, Yohanna Ibrahim, and the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, Paul Yazigi were kidnapped, and a deacon driving them was killed, while they were undertaking a joint humanitarian mission near the Turkish border north of Aleppo.
The murdered driver has been identified as Fatha’ Allah Kabboud, a deacon in the Syriac Orthodox Church. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack and the whereabouts of the two men remain unclear.
“I urge Uniting Church members to remember their Christian brothers and sisters in Syria in their intercessions in the days and weeks ahead,” said Mr Dutney.
Media contact, Matt Pulford on 0408 634 373.