A budget that challenges the most vulnerable
The national council of the Uniting Church in Australia has urged the Federal Government to maintain the closest possible scrutiny on how Australia’s most vulnerable are affected by the tough changes in the 2014 Federal Budget.
“The Federal Budget lays out an extensive range of program cuts and structural changes,” said President of the Uniting Church Assembly Rev. Professor Andrew Dutney.
“Cutting more than half a billion dollars from Indigenous programs, tough new conditions for youth support, and making all Australians pay to see a doctor are just a few of a number of measures that have the potential to harm those who really need our help.”
“The Federal Government must be true to its word that this Budget supports the most vulnerable and provides equality of opportunity. It is unjust that the most vulnerable Australians should bear the pain of economic reform.”
The National Director of UnitingWorld, Rob Floyd, the Uniting Church’s Relief and Development arm has expressed bitter disappointment that the Government has made its biggest cuts in the Budget to foreign aid – $7.6 billion across the forward estimates.
“The Government has broken its promise on overseas aid by reneging on the bipartisan commitment to lift aid levels to 0.5 per cent of gross national income (GNI),” said Mr Floyd.
“These cuts come at the expense of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, many of whom live in our Asia-Pacific region,”
“We call on the Federal Government to target what aid funding remains to the most vulnerable and to ensure that future aid spending directly addresses poverty alleviation,“ said Mr Floyd.