Daily News - Monday 26 May 2014
Fears charities are doomed
Farrah Tomazin, The Age
One of Australia's leading welfare experts has warned that small charities could cease to exist in Victoria, pushed out by super-sized community groups in a ''welfare arms race'' created by the Napthine government.
As the state Coalition embarks on a radical shake-up of the community sector, Brotherhood of St Laurence executive director Tony Nicholson has urged a government rethink, describing its plans as flawed and unsustainable.
When can you stop worrying about getting postnatal depression?
Luisa Dillner, The Guardian
Most people know you can become depressed after having a baby. But isn't it limited to the first few months? A paper in this month's British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology suggests not. The research, from the Murdoch Children's Research Institute and Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, says first-time mothers are more likely to be depressed when their child is four years of age than at any time in the first 12 months after having a baby. Women with just a four-year-old were more likely to report depression than those who also had younger children.
So do mothers need to watch out for depression indefinitely?
Hundreds of Queenslanders seek parenting help
University of Queensland, media release
Queensland parents of children with a disability are the first in the world to benefit from a parenting intervention designed to reduce child behaviour problems across the state.
So far, 350 Queensland parents have received parenting skills training through The University of Queensland’s (UQ) Stepping Stones Triple P Project (SSTP), with thousands more expected to seek help over the next 12 months.
US - Parents Who Support Corporal Punishment Do It a Lot
Christie Nicholson, Scientific American
When it comes to disciplining their young children, there’s a big gulf between what parents say they do and what they actually do. New research finds that parents spank or hit more often and for more mundane reasons than researchers previously thought.
Speaking out about the old stigma of mental health
Deborah Field, St George and Sutherland Leader
When Fay Jackson, of Dolls Point, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, people called her all sorts of names, including stupid.
She decided the best way to break down the stigma associated with mental illness was to speak out.
The deputy commissioner of the NSW Mental Health Commission and the first consumer speaker for beyondblue, has been appointed to the National Mental Health Leaders Project.
Mentally ill at risk of slipping back into homelessness: study
Anna Patty, Sydney Morning Herald
People with a mental illness are at risk of being stuck in a "revolving door" in and out of homelessness without support to help them keep their public housing, new research has found.
A new study to be released by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre on Monday has found a lack of support for people with mental illness has resulted in many slipping back into homelessness.
The report said many people who took part in the study felt that the "lack of support and lack of sensitivity" by government housing officers and private real-estate agents had robbed them of dignity and self-worth.
Let’s bring a little warmth to the homeless
Elise Elliot, Herald Sun
Even though our recent weather has been mild, when darkness falls and the temperature follows, I think of Shannon.
Shannon is homeless, and for a year, he sat on the church step opposite our house renovation. He considered himself the unofficial project manager. Every day, he wore the same checked shirt and baggy beige pants held up with a rope. He carried an assortment of recycled bags. Sometimes he’d be covered in bruises and cuts. He was Irish and had kind, blue eyes.
I’d take him a cuppa and we’d chat. He’d note the progress of construction. He always remembered my name. And when our home was finally completed, I asked him what he thought.
“It looks like a remand centre,” he quipped in his lilting brogue, before shuffling off. Gee, thanks Shannon!
Unemployed have 'no right to hold out for dream job': PM Tony Abbott
Michaela Whitbourn, Brisbane Times
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has declared that people on unemployment benefits have "no right" to hold out for their dream job and should take any position they are reasonably able to do.
"If there is a job available you don't really have the option of failing to accept it if the alternative is life on unemployment benefits," Mr Abbott said in South Australia on Saturday.
Take any job, Kevin Andrews tells young facing no dole for six months
Judith Ireland, Sydney Morning Herald
Young unemployed people facing the prospect of receiving no dole for six months should simply take a job they do not really want or do a course, according to Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews.
In an exclusive interview with Fairfax Media, Mr Andrews also foreshadowed sweeping changes to Australia's welfare system, highlighting that about 50 different government payments are now under review.
Hysteria hits new height on Budget
Miranda Devine, The Daily Telegraph
The outrage industry was in hyperdrive last week, fuelling Australia’s toxic entitlement mentality.
Wink-gate, Cigar-gate, student riots and cartoon victims Vilma and “Gloria” drove budget coverage in the media.
“The question is, is everyone contributing equally,” Emma Alberici kept asking on ABC Lateline Friday night.
Who says that’s the question?
The budget is not meant to be a utopian wealth redistribution program.
Young people on Newstart forced to beg and approach charities
Matt Wade, Sydney Morning Herald
One in four people on the dole for more than a year have been forced to beg on the streets and six in 10 have approached a charity for help, a grim new academic study into life on unemployment benefits has found.
The scale of deprivation for those on the Newstart allowance was so serious the researchers concluded the employment prospects of recipients had been seriously ''scarred'''.
Heartbreak, isolation and stress: the strains of living on the dole
Matt Wade, Sydney Morning Herald
Lisa Blundell can sum up what it's like to live on Newstart in a word: stressful.
Anxiety over money is never far from her mind, even though her unemployment benefit is augmented by a 10-hour-a-week casual job.
Finding suitable housing has added to the strain. After being evicted from their house in western Sydney recently, Lisa and her mother have ended up in crisis accommodation run by Parramatta Mission. ''Some weeks are pretty bad when it comes to rent and all the other bills,'' she said.
Rockingham youth struggle against unemployment
Trevor Paddenburg, Perth Now
Tenielle Edwards has applied for 20 jobs in six weeks without any luck.
The Year 12 graduate moved to Rockingham from Victoria with her father after he got a fly-in, fly-out job with a mining company.
Miserly Newstart keeps unemployed further away from jobs
Matt Wade, Sydney Morning Herald
Does the figure $503.71 mean anything to you? That’s how much a single person needs to live above the poverty line in Australia, according to the latest estimate. A typical full-time worker earns three times that amount (nearly $1500 per week) but there’s one group with incomes way below it – the unemployed. Many people are surprised to hear the Newstart Allowance is just $255.25 a week for a single person – about half the poverty line benchmark. Even when rent assistance is added, Australia’s unemployment benefit is 38 per cent below the poverty line.
Budget crackdown won’t shorten the dole queue
Natasha Bita, The Australian ($)
Treasury figures reveal the Abbott government expects the average time on the dole to remain at four years and four months, despite its welfare crackdown.
New Department of Social Security data reveals that 734,866 unemployed people were receiving Newstart or its junior version, Youth Allowance (other), last month — an 8 per cent increase in the space of a year.
Two-thirds of them had been out of work for more than a year, as long-term unemployment surged 10 per cent.
And 432,183 dole recipients were exempt from job-search requirements — an 11 per cent increase during the year and more than double the 2009 figure.
In the face of criticism, NATSEM stands by its numbers and its findings
Ben Phillips, The Australian ($)
Following the 2014-15 budget, the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling was commissioned by the opposition to analyse the impact on family incomes of tax and benefits changes under the Coalition government compared with Labor. We didn’t analyse the merits of measures.
Tony Abbott will need all his horse-trading skills to get budget past Senate
Jonathan Swan, Brisbane Times
Tony Abbott faces some torrid horse-trading to get his controversial budget through the Senate, with crossbenchers saying they want everything from a rifle range to radical tax cuts to be dealt into negotiations.
Greens leader Christine Milne rules out Senate deals with Tony Abbott
Jonathan Swan, Sydney Morning Herald
Given the increasingly dysfunctional relationship between Mr Abbott and the Greens leader, back-channel communications have been occurring between the Prime Minister's chief of staff, Peta Credlin, and Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt.
... Senator Milne said that despite her opposition to the Abbott government's budget philosophy, the Greens would probably help two Coalition policies become law - paid parental leave and the re-indexation of the petrol tax.
Senator Milne said the Greens were considering supporting the Coalition's proposals to tighten the means-testing of family payments from income levels of $150,000 down to $100,000, but they needed to see more details. However, she is opposed to other Coalition budget policies - university fee deregulation, GP payments, pension and Newstart cuts, the Direct Action plan.
Deficit levy to go ahead as Labor confirms Senate support
Katherine Murphy, The Guardian
The Abbott government’s temporary tax on high-income earners will go ahead after Labor confirmed it would support the deficit levy ahead of the resumption of parliament this week.
... But the fate of other key budget measures remains uncertain. On Sunday Wong reiterated Labor’s intention in the post-budget wash-up to focus efforts on scuttling measures that affected low-income earners or undermined the principle of universal health care.
Senate stoush looms as Joe Hockey refuses to compromise on $7 GP co-payment
Rosie Lewis, The Australian
The Coalition is facing a Senate stoush over its budget policies as a fired up Joe Hockey this morning said he would not be deterred by critics, revealing he would not compromise on the $7 co-payment.
... While Mr Hockey told the Australian Agenda panel he was prepared to negotiate on key issues with senators, he said the co-payment was necessary to make the health system sustainable.
"I don't think we should compromise. We have laid it down, we have given a coherent argument to it," the Treasurer said.
Joe Hockey signals GP fee could be up for negotiation
Lisa Cox, Brisbane Times
Treasurer Joe Hockey has signalled the Abbott government will not back down on the introduction of a GP fee, but the actual price to be paid at the doctor could be up for negotiation in order to push the measure through the parliament.