Daily News - 11 May 2015

Posted 11 May 2015 1:46pm
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Push to change welfare indexation after survey reveals extent of housing stress

Bridie Jabour - The Guardian

The government is being urged to change the way it indexes social security payments after a survey found almost 80% of those forced to live on them are struggling.

The Australian Council of Social Service (Acoss) used the weekend before the federal budget to release the survey which found 78% of those on income support are struggling to live on it and many are in housing crisis.

One in five people on Newstart or Youth Allowance spend more than 50% of their income on housing costs while 52% spend more than a quarter and 10% spend more than 75%. Of the people on parenting income, 24% spend more than 50% of their income on housing.

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$20m tagged for Andrew Forrest’s remote early childcare shake-up

Sarah Martin - The Australian

A new approach to early childcare services recommended by mining magnate Andrew Forrest to address indigenous disadvantage has been allocated $20 million in the budget.

The move to integrate early childhood services in the most vulnerable communities was revealed yesterday as part of ­Social Services Minister Scott Morrison’s new $328m Child Care Safety Net program.

Under the proposed shake-up, services for 0-3 year olds would be co-­located within schools or community hubs, with better sharing of ­information between government departments.

Mr Forrest also recommended comprehensive case management for vulnerable children as well as ­explicit instruc­tion programs for three year olds.

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Federal budget 2015: Tony Abbott remembers bush with $333m rural package

Mark Kenny, James Massola - The SMH

Drought-stricken farming communities will have access to $250 million in additional concessional loans in Tuesday's budget as well as new Commonwealth funds for "shovel-ready" infrastructure and employment projects designed to see them through until it rains.

The approach, which revives the rationale of regional stimulus funding during the global financial crisis, is aimed at providing work for under-employed contractors and at energising depressed local economies struggling during the big dry. It is hoped it will also leave towns with improved public assets on a more permanent basis.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has revealed $35 million has been earmarked for a fund that will favour local projects deemed to be of greatest long-term benefit for those communities. It will be buttressed by $25.8 million to fight the twin scourges of weeds and feral animal pests which proliferate during drought periods exacerbating social and economic hardship.

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What people on the dole are missing out on

News.com.au

DOLE recipients are forgoing dental check-ups, medical appointments and are often unable to buy presents for loved ones, because their welfare cheques are not enough to live on.

In a new survey to be released today by the Australian Council of Social Service, more than 80 per cent of people on the Newstart allowance say their welfare payments are not enough to live on.

ACOSS chief executive Cassandra Goldie is releasing the survey ahead of next week’s federal budget in an eleventh hour push to see the welfare safety-net increased.

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