The Howard Government has squandered the opportunity offered by the good economic times to make Australia fairer and invest in our future prosperity, say the Greens.
"Prime Minister Howard's economic agenda has failed the most disadvantaged of our community" said Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on community services.
A report released by ACOSS today shows that not only has the number of people living in poverty in Australia increased over the last 10 years, but that on key issues such as housing affordability, oral health, and education Australia ranks poorly against other countries of the OECD.
"Our poor ranking on early childhood education is very disturbing as early childhood education is essential to overcoming poverty and disadvantage.
"The Greens are calling on the Howard government to increase the aged pension by $60 a fortnight, which would cost less than the $3.6 billion tax cuts for those earning over $75,000 announced in the budget. There hasn't been a substantial increase in the aged pension in 14 years."
"In the so-called boom times, we should be delivering a fairer Australia to all Australians, particularly the disadvantaged," Senator Siewert said.