|Pic courtesy The Catholic Leader|
Below is an extract from Today's Catholic Leader -
The article is called Putting People First: The call for an economy of social inclusion.
In co-operation with all sectors of business, unions, and the community, government has a responsibility to ensure workers and their families are put first in the nation’s economic system. It should take the lead in:
1. Creating jobs for vulnerable workers which are secure, adequately paid and relevant to the needs of business and local communities
2. Supporting industrial and infrastructure development that increases opportunities for local employment
3. Increasing investment in research and development and lifting national training standards
4. Assisting employers by reducing on-costs – for example through wage subsidies or tax rebates on employment-related costs
5. Agreeing on a way of measuring poverty and social exclusion and applying it when setting minimum wages and social security payments.
We need a competitive and productive national economy. But we cannot leave it to the market alone. There is a responsibility on government to ensure all people can make their contribution to the productivity of our nation and reap the benefits of growth.
It resonates with me, as I've always believed that after providing security, the first responsibility of any government is to create conditions so that everyone, irrespective of age, gender or disability, can find productive work.
This has apparently gone out of fashion, and as the statistics in the article demonstrate, people on the margins are suffering, and that suffering is spreading.
Read the whole thing.