Posted August 10, 2020 13:05:53The Catholic charity network, which is based in Brisbane, Australia, received $14.7 billion in federal funding over the past 10 years, a $3 billion increase over 2016.
This year’s grants were more than triple the amount the network received in 2015, and are the largest ever for the group, with $12.4 billion of funding.
However, Catholic charities that were founded after the late Cardinal Raymond Burke were left behind by the federal government’s recent changes to the charitable sector, which meant they had to wait years for new grants to come in.
The Commonwealth was unable to fund Catholic charities due to the Coalition Government’s controversial tax cuts, which slashed the charity sector’s funding from 10 per cent of the federal budget to 5 per cent in 2020.
The charity sector has been the target of widespread criticism over the changes, which have resulted in the closure of dozens of hospitals and other centres, including hospitals in Melbourne and Brisbane.
This is in contrast to the Catholic charity sector, where more than $2 billion of federal funding has been allocated over the last 10 years to the charity sectors, according to a report published by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACCBC).
But the ACCBC says it is only getting the money it needs from the Commonwealth, with the charity industry facing significant barriers to receiving any new funding.
“This funding is critical to support Catholic charities in the areas of health and wellbeing and education, but it is also being cut back by a number of Commonwealth departments and agencies,” the ACCB report said.
“Funding is also scarce in the community, especially in the rural areas where Catholic charities operate.”
These funding gaps mean Catholic charities, particularly those in low income communities, are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of the proposed changes.
“Catholic charities have been the subject of the Government’s ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Catholic Charities’ campaign, which has focused on Catholic charities receiving federal funds.
The ACCBC report noted that the changes to federal funding for charities had resulted in a reduction in funding for the Catholic sector by about 1.8 per cent since 2015.”
The Government has been keen to ensure the Commonwealth’s funding is adequate to support charitable organisations and that the Catholic charitable sector remains a major focus of the Coalition’s ‘no taxpayer funding for Catholic charities’ policy,” the report said, warning of the potential consequences of the government’s funding cuts.
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