The Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) has examined both the Government's 2015 Budget, and the Opposition's Budget-in-Reply.
On the secularism front, one aspect of both is particularly disappointing – the continued wasting of the tax dollars of all Australians on the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) and its army of evangelising amateurs.
The Budget confirmed that funding for this program will continue to the tune of $60 million a year for four years – nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in total. The Budget-in-Reply was largely silent on this issue, leaving Australians to conclude that the Opposition would similarly continue with this funding waste.
What else could a quarter of a billion dollars be used for? By comparison, the Budget allocated only $16.7 million over 3 years to addressing the real and urgent issue of domestic violence in Australia. That's less than $6 million a year, or less than 10% of the NSCP yearly budget.
Surely addressing that issue with $240 million would provide a greater tangible benefit to Australia's children (and their families) than the NSCP.
"There haven been noises from various quarters about 'double-dipping' around this Budget, while many appear to ignore the most blatant double-dipping of all." AFA President Michael Boyd noted. "Churches and religious bodies already share in $30 billion per annum in religious tax concessions, and represent some of the wealthiest groupings in our community. Yet they put their hands out again, expecting taxpayers to pay $60 million per year to fund their covert religious recruitment efforts aimed at our schoolchildren".
The AFA calls on both the Government and Opposition to use precious taxpayer funds to address real problems, rather than waste them propping up the NSCP.
Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc
PO Box 1062
Lane Cove NSW 1595
Phone: (08) 8835 2269
Email: [email protected]