Daily News - 6 May 2015

Posted 6 May 2015 11:56am
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Australian Catholic Council for Employment Relations seeks big rise in minimum wage

Anna Patty - The SMH

One of Australia's largest employers is pushing for the national minimum wage to be increased by $28.70 a week – more than double the amount that major employer groups have argued for and slightly higher than unions have recommended.

The Australian Catholic Council for Employment Relations has lodged a claim in the Fair Work Commission for the national minimum wage to be set at $669.60 a week, an increase of $28.70 above its current level.  

Industry groups have argued for less than half that amount, saying a greater increase could lead to job losses.

The Australian Industry Group's submission to the Fair Work Commission's annual wage review recommends a 1.6 per cent increase, which would raise the national minimum wage, which is currently $640.90 a week, by $10.25. The proposed rise is below the rate of inflation, at 2.2 per cent.

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Barnett strategy to reveal fate of at-risk communities

Paige Taylor - The Australian

The Barnett government will this week reveal its long-awaited framework for remote Aboriginal communities, a co-ordinated ­effort to cut waste and roll out key criteria including that children must attend school.

The “project plan” has been eagerly anticipated since West Australian Premier Colin Barnett said last November that between 100 and 150 communities were likely to close.

At the time he lashed a commonwealth government decision to hand responsibility for the communities’ services to the states, but as protesters prepared to rally on the issue in Melbourne, New York and Berlin last week, he said it could be decades before a significant number of smaller communities “lapse”.

Yesterday WA Aboriginal ­Affairs Minister Peter Collier told The Australian the “project plan” for the state’s 274 Aboriginal communities would be revealed in coming days and was not a hit-list for closures.

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Catholic Education Office wants toddlers as young as two to go to schoolading

Deborah Fitzgerald  - Parramatta Advertiser

Children as young as two could have structured lessons in a radical overhaul of the school system planned by the Catholic Education Office (CEO).

CEO Parramatta executive director Greg Whitby said the early years should be about more than childminding and sand pits.

“The best education systems in the world showed two-year-olds could benefit from some formal schooling as part of a more wholistic approach,” he said.

“We are talking about two and three-year olds — some schools in Europe are catering for one-year-olds.”

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Federal budget 2015: praise for tighter pension test

Phillip Coorey - The Financial Review

The government's decision to dump plans to reduce the growth rate of the age pension and instead tighten eligibility for the part pension, could pay dividends with the alternative proposal receiving a much warmer response politically and from lobby groups.

As reported on Saturday by The Australian Financial Review, next week's federal budget will junk last year's budget measure to index the age pension to inflation only, a move which would have saved $23 billion over 10 years, but gradually would leave age pension recipients worse off.

Instead, the government will reduce the value of assets that can be held by a part pensioner before they lose their benefit.

The asset threshold for couples – excluding the family home – will fall from $1.15 million to about $820,000. It will fall to about $550,000 for singles.

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