Daily News - 26 August 2014
Abbott Government ready to negotiate on dole reforms but unemployed to be slotted into categories
Renee Viellaris, The Courier Mail
Welfare dependants face being ranked to determine what incentives they receive and how much it will cost to find them a job, as the Abbott Government signals it will negotiate on its dole reforms.
But revelations of possible further overhauls to the $100 billion social security system came as the Government warned it could be forced to increase taxes if all its key Budget reforms remained stalled in Parliament, which resumes tomorrow.
Truancy tamed by welfare threats
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian
Indigenous school attendance improved when there was a threat welfare payments would be cut if children didn’t go, but went backwards when the federal government failed to follow through.
The findings are contained in a report by the University of Melbourne’s Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, to be revealed today.
500 New Jobs for Indigenous Australians
Pro Bono News
Jobs for an additional 500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including a new apprenticeship program, by 2017 have been announced as part of banking giant Westpac’s 2015-17 Reconciliation Action Plan.
The bank said it would also enhance its targets within its existing dedicated Indigenous employment programs, including a new 10-year commitment to place 40 Indigenous interns annually and committing to increase the number of Indigenous trainees hired each year.
Michael’s Intensive Supported Housing Accord (MISHA) is a philanthropically funded initiative that provided long-term stable accommodation while supporting the men to build the lives they would like to live.
The MISHA Project used a Housing First approach, which is about providing homeless people with immediate access to long-term, sustainable accommodation, rather than an initial stop-gap stay in a homeless shelter.
Govt Puts Funds Towards Disability Wage Arrangements
Pro Bono News
The Federal Government has announced $173 million to help the supported employment sector work towards new wage arrangements for disability employees currently working in Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs).
This follows the suspension of the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT) in December 2012.
Accidental fatal overdose rates in rural and regional Australia overtake cities for the first time
Peter Mickelburough, Herald Sun
Rates of fatal accidental overdoses in rural and regional Australia have more than doubled in a decade, overtaking those in capital cities.
Unintended fatal drug overdoses in the bush rose 127 per cent in 10 years, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data commissioned by the Pennington Institute.
The Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Joel Fitzgibbon has criticised the Federal Government's drought assistance measures, saying not enough is being done for what is a vital Australian industry.
Joel Fitzgibbon says the drought is still affecting many farming businesses and regions and the Federal Government is using the 'Budget crisis' as an excuse not to act.
Postcards a one-stop source of information
The North West Star
Drought-stricken graziers, shop and small business owners will have a ready source of information on help available, with the delivery of a magnetised crisis-contact postcard this month.
... Centacare’s Dryline number is prominent as are other health services such as mental health services, Medicare Local, Anglicare, GP services and other health clinics.
Bracket-creep solution to hit low incomes hardest
David Uren, The Australian
Allowing inflation to push more personal income into higher tax brackets will punish low-income earners the hardest, increasing their tax rates by as much as 25 per cent over the next four years, while leaving those at the top of the income scales virtually untouched.
While the government struggles to get savings measures through the Senate because of their perceived unfairness, the increase in personal income tax resulting from “bracket creep” will raise more than $20 billion a year by 2017-18, or more than all the government’s proposed savings measures combined.
TOM IGGULDEN: The Grattan Institute suggests an end to tax breaks for wealthier Australians, like negative gearing on investment properties and superannuation concessions that provide generous retirements for the most fortunate.
JOHN DALEY: They induce distortions to people's behaviour. They're often very unfair.
TOM IGGULDEN: One Senate crossbencher's giving cautious approval to the idea of cutting back on superannuation concessions.
NICK XENOPHON: I think at the moment the scheme has got out of control and there are ways to trim it back.
The Guardian view on Pope Francis’s seeming leftward lurch
Editorial, The Guardian
Pope Francis has never been a friend of North American capitalism. Now he is, or may appear to be, rehabilitating liberation theology, one of the most bitterly contested doctrines of the last century. He has praised the martyr Oscar Romero, murdered in his cathedral for opposing the junta in El Salvador, and speeded on the process of his beatification, which had been delayed in the Vatican. Francis has even lifted the suspension from priestly duties of Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, a priest who took office as a government minister under the Sandinistas.