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Journal

0942 Sat 25 Aug 2001

I went to a birthday at a restaurant in Bourke Street last night. Richmond were playing the Kangeroos, but I decided the birthday was more important. There was a delayed telecast on a TV in the restaurant, so I was able to do both. It was a close game and with an exciting finish, Richmond winning by 4 points. I hope Benny Gale is OK for the finals in two weeks. He injuried his elbow in the second quarter.

Archbishop Pell was on the front page of "The Age" newspaper yesterday, floating the idea of a "divorce tax". Today "The Age" has a story which begins "Sole parents have received an increase of almost 20 per cent in disposable income in the past five years ...". It also seems that a "charity report" has been released, with an article on page 9 saying "Welfare groups should be denied charitable status if they .... conducted activities that were contary to public policy ...". The editorial in "The Australian" talks about the lack of incentives with the income tax system.

What's my conclusion? The incentives matter and they are complicated. How does one help the poor, without encouraging them to be poor? How can one promote families, without causing a disadvantage for those who are not families. How can a group by given "charitable status" without creating a disadvantage to those who do not have that status.

Yesterday I spent a few hours reading about the early Church in the years 100 - 400. The Christian Church battles against the "pagan religions". The issues of state and church were clearly important in that era.

Archbishop Pell was on the news last night, doing a press conference, emphasising that he was aiming to promote discussion. I think its an important and worthwhile discussion that we should have.

Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 25 August 2001.

 

Links to other sites:

The Age - speech by Archbishop Pell