The Catholic Social Welfare Commission stated for all to hear that applying the Goods and Services Tax to food makes it far more difficult for poorer Australians to get the essentials of life, and that this is an offence to human dignity. The response from politicians and media commentators was to indignantly make themselves the good guys and the others the bad guys, to tell the churches to keep out of party politics and to remind us to enter public debate with our facts straight, especially about the full Fightback! package and its total impact on poorer Australians. All this happened a couple of weeks before the release of ‘Commonwealth for the Common Good’, a statement by the Australian Catholic Bishops on the distribution of wealth in Australia. This release was shortly followed by a national conference in Melbourne to consider the statement.
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