The St Vincent de Paul Society National Council has issued the following response to the Audit Commission's report:

Chief Executive, Dr John Falzon said:  "We stand in solidarity with the people who carry the greatest burden of inequality. Therefore we reject the US path of further entrenching inequality. It is disheartening to see the future of our country coloured by an agenda that is so ideologically driven and so intent on humiliating people living in poverty, whether they are struggling outside the labour market or on its low-paid and insecure fringes. This is not the time for government to walk away from its responsibility to make sure that people enjoy the right to the essentials of life such as health, affordable housing, education and jobs. In this respect governments must do what markets cannot."

National President, Mr Anthony Thornton added: "It is inequality that we must reduce, not social expenditure. Many of the recommendations of this report are a recipe for rising inequality. That is not the kind of Australia that people of good will would be hoping for. What we expect of government is that it ensures that everyone has access to a place to live, a place to learn and a place to work."    

Read more about Vinnies concerns about the audit expressed in our recent written submissions to the Commission.