Churches call for social safety net

A group of church leaders has called on the welfare review group to propose an adequate safety net in place for those who are disadvantaged.

Church groups are calling for the government's welfare reforms to include a social safety net strong enough to support every person in need.

Submissions to the independent review of Australia's welfare system close on Friday, prompting church leaders to urge the reference group to keep an adequate safety net in place.

The welfare interim report, released last month, proposed cutting welfare payment categories from 20 to four and diverting disability pensioners to a working-age payment to allow them to work if able.

In a statement, the church groups said society had a responsibility to provide resources for those who are disadvantaged to live with dignity and respect.

"We believe that all people have inherent value, and have the ability to contribute to Australia," the church leaders said.

The government says the current system is complex and reforms are still a long way off.

The joint statement was issued by Anglicare Australia, Baptist Care Australia, Catholic Social Services Australia, The Salvation Army and UnitingCare Australia.

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