A call last week by the Reserve Bank of Australia for a national debate regarding Australia’s banks and bank profits has been welcomed by church welfare agencies, reports the Catholic Weekly.
The Chief Executive of the St Vincent de Paul Society national council, Dr John Falzon, said the call for a public debate on the size of the banks’ profits was a good idea.
“Now is the time to reignite the debate about the common good,” he said.
“If we want to create a more just and compassionate society we must start by analysing the causes of inequality. We have to look honestly at the way wealth in Australia is distributed and we need to ask whether those at the top of the income distribution contribute their fair share so that the community as a whole can benefit from the public provision of essential services,” Dr Falzon said.
“We need especially to look at the impact of excessive profits on the lives of the poor, including the growing cohort of working poor. As Pope Benedict commented in Spain last year: ‘The economy cannot be measured by the maximum profit but by the common good’.
“The St Vincent de Paul Society is a daily witness to the effects of inequality and exclusion in prosperous Australia. This is why we embrace the wisdom of Blessed John Paul II when he said: ‘The needs of the poor must take priority over the desires of the rich; the rights of the workers over the maximisation of profits,’ Dr Falzon said.
The Reserve Bank statement warned the banks they should “avoid taking unnecessary risks or cutting costs indiscriminately in a bid to sustain unrealistic profit expectations; this could sow the seeds of future problems”.
FULL STORY Vinnies backs call for debate on banks (Catholic Weekly)