8 February, 2017

The St Vincent de Paul Society is urging the Federal Government to reconsider its goal of reducing company tax rates and cuts to family payments.

In its 2017-18 pre-Budget submission, the Society has called on the Government to rethink its priorities. It follows recent budgets that have slashed funding to health, education and essential social services, while reducing support to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our communities.

On the first day of Parliament resuming for 2017, the Society’s National Council CEO, Dr John Falzon, called on the Federal Government to reset its policy approach and embrace a fairer, more equitable and sustainable budget strategy.

“The Treasurer and Prime Minister have indicated that one of the first orders of business will be passing legislation to lowering company tax rates,” he said.

“Despite more than two decades of uninterrupted economic growth, inequality in Australia is growing and people are being forced to turn to charity as a default mode of delivering social security. 

“It is unconscionable that the government would take from those who have little in order to give to those who have much.”

The Society rejects the Government’s argument that the budget should be balanced by cutting family payments and other income support payments.

“If the Government’s cuts to family payments and other so-called zombie measures are enacted, more than $7 billion will be slashed from individuals and families on low incomes,” Dr Falzon said.  

“The Government must halt the relentless attacks on people on low incomes and abandon its unfair budget strategy. Families on low-incomes, the unemployed, single parents, students, people with a disability and aged pensioners should not be treated as easy targets.

“We cannot afford company tax cuts and generous tax concessions to the wealthy, when at the same time the government claims to lack the revenue it needs to fund basic family payments, income support and essential services like schools, health care and community legal services.”

The government wants the Senate to vote on its company tax cuts – a centrepiece of its election policy ­– by March, a move described by Dr Falzon as “driven by an obsolete ideology rather than the common good.”

MEDIA CONTACT:       0400 845 492 or media@svdp.org.au

A full copy of the Society’s 2017-18 pre-Budget submission can be uploaded here.