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An unfair budget & the thinking behind it

‘The march starts – Children in Immigration Detention Protest Broadmeadows’ Takver flickr cc

May has been a tumultuous month politically in Australia, following the release of the federal budget by the Treasurer Mr Joe Hockey. The reaction has been widespread throughout many sections of the community, largely for the unfairness to low-income groups, especially the young unemployed.

Social service organisations are particularly concerned, as some faith-based organisations are likely to be displaced by for-profit organisations, many of which belong to major international corporations. Read this editorial in full.

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As the debate over the Commonwealth budget illustrates, the need for robust defence of decent living standards for all our citizens has become all too evident. Thanks to your support over the last nine years, SPC has made a significant contribution to widening the conversation about social justice in Australia and overseas. Last year, our website attracted one and a half million downloads of articles.
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Postponed: the SPC public forum on

The federal budget: perpetuating poverty?

originally planned for midday 6 June at the Salvation Army Hall in Bourke St is being postponed.
As you know, there is a great deal of concern about a wide range of issues affected by the budget, and commentators are being kept exceptionally busy. As a result, some were unavailable to speak at our forum on Friday 6 June.
 Our apologies for the late notice.

Budget commentary


Vale egalitarianism, hail inequality
Tony French

‘Parliament House Canberra’ Tony Ilic flickr cc

Libertarian promotion of personal responsibility – that it’s your own fault if you fail to succeed – has become a driver for reducing government involvement in promoting economic security. Surely you have heard that “the age of entitlement is over. It’s the market, mate!”.
The reality is that the notion of equality of opportunity, like the notion of egalitarianism, is becoming mythical. If families are the bedrock of society, then not all families begin equal, and if schools are the great levellers, then not all schools are equal either, meaning that not all employment opportunities are equal. And jobs … Well, they, or their absence, are the basis for ongoing inequality. If you start off poor, then the likelihood is that you will stay poor. One need only look to the ‘land of the free’, the USA, to see the consequences of gross inequality. Read this article in full.

Trust is the biggest casualty of the budget
Bruce Duncan

‘Budget dinner’ Dan Woods flickr cc

One might wonder how this harsh budget sits with Mr Abbott’s understanding of Catholic social thought, including that of his earlier exemplar, B A Santamaria, who would be very surprised at the budget’s unfairness. And what do members of the government make of Pope Francis, among many others, calling for governments to remedy growing inequalities between and within countries? Read this article in full.



Evaluating the budget
Bill Frilay

‘Abbot representing the 1%’ Jerry Dohnal flickr cc

Joe Hockey has said everyone has to take a hit. Mike Keating makes the point that, indeed, low-income earners – those on the bottom rungs, as he says – are hit, high-income earners are mildly hit, but many middle-income earners are not impacted much at all (although some will be justifiably taken off welfare payments).

The withholding of youth unemployment benefits for the first six months may also prove. And foreign aid cuts emanate from a wealthy country which suffered least during the GFC.Read this article in full.

The FAQs about climate change

Chris Mulherin

‘Climate Change Rally’ Rob Baxter flickr cc

It is time to name climate change denial as the disorder it is, and to deal with the indisputable facts of the matter. According to almost all scientists working in the field, human beings are causing significant planetary warming, and the consequences will be dire if the global community does not take urgent action to reduce emissions. Read this article in full.

Our partner organisation,
the Yarra Institute for Religion & Social Policy,
invites you to the launch of

A world united or a world exploited: Christian perspectives on globalisation

globalisation_optEdited by Peter Price.
Published by ATF Theology.
Chapters by Stephen Ames, Bruce Duncan, John D’Arcy May, Rowan Ireland, Therese & James D’Orsa, Robyn Reynolds, and Wes Campbell.
Friday 20 June 5pm
The Study Centre, Yarra Theological Union
Best entry via 34 Bedford Street Box Hill

Light refreshments afterwards
Please RSVP for catering purposes by Thursday 19 June to
9899 4777  |  0409 897 971

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