NDIS must do its job in an affordable manner, says Hockey
Joe Hockey - interview with Neil Mitchell, 3AW
Neil Mitchell: So [the NDIS] is untouchable?
Treasurer: Well no, everything is going to be looked at to make sure that we are doing it as best we can in the most efficient way. A report recently came out, independent report, on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and it said, it had a photo of a half built plane in the air on the front cover and it said, the current scheme inherited from Labor, and this is an independent report, said ‘the current scheme is akin to a plane trying to take off half built’. And what we have got to do is make sure that we don’t have another terrible roll out of a program like the pink batts program, which is not able to be properly rolled out and is certainly not effective in the delivery of services it promises.
Disability scheme supports everyone
Bruce Bonyhady, The Australian
The NDIS is the Snowy Mountains Scheme of economic and social policy and, like the Snowy Scheme, it will take years to build and get right.
Everyone accepts that it takes years to build dams, tunnels or roads, yet when it comes to human services, which are at least as complex, there is an expectation that it can all be done overnight. The reality of the NDIS, however, is that the prudential governance cycle that lies at the centre of its operations means improvements will continue throughout the trial phase and beyond.
Why Are There Police Outside NT Bottle Shops?
Max Chalmers and Frances Mao, New Matilda
For months now, a significant number of the Alice Springs police force, including commanders and detectives, have been stationed outside the town’s bottle shops from 2pm to 9pm on weeknights and 10am to 9pm on weekends. More than 35 members of the police have been assigned shift duty with back-up being supplied from other towns.
Survey finds age discrimination down - but higher pension age needs employment plan
Michelle grattan, The Conversation
The debate about the government’s expected lift of the pension age to 70 in the longer term has a big element of the glass half-full or half-empty about it.
‘Robin Hood’ and ‘piggy bank’: what the welfare state does for us
Peter Whiteford, The Conversation
As a tough federal budget round looms, there has been suggestions that the pension eligibility age could rise to 70, indexation of pensions could be changed, Family Tax Benefit Part B could be more tightly income-tested and eligibility for Disability Support Pension for younger recipients could be reviewed.
While some of this is kite-flying from the Abbott government, it seems very likely that welfare changes will figure significantly in the May budget.
Welfare needs a total overhaul
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian
Rather than incremental reforms delivered in budgets year after year, the Abbott government must rise to the welfare challenge and create in this term of government a single welfare payment with add-ons.
If not in this year’s budget, broader and lasting welfare reform is needed. Anything less will only extend the patchwork attempts already started by Labor to rein in welfare spending and get people into work.
Hockey flags billion-dollar Centrelink mainframe replacement
Paris Cowan, ITnews
The federal government has "no choice" but to modernise the critical systems underpinning Centrelink's 30-year old mainframe, despite the likelihood of the project costing in excess of a billion dollars, Treasurer Joe Hockey said today.
Two out of three households struggle between pay days
ING Direct, media release
Almost two thirds of Australian households (63%) say they have been strapped for cash between pay days at some stage and one in three have used a credit card to tide them over. Almost half (46%) say it would take at least an extra $300 per week to be comfortable with take-home pay.
Is misused neuroscience defining early years and child protection policy?
Zoe Williams, The Guardian
The idea that a child's brain is irrevocably shaped in the first three years increasingly drives government policy on adoption and early childhood intervention. But does the science stand up to scrutiny?
US - Project to Improve Poor Children’s Intellect Led to Better Health, Data Show
Sabrina Tavernise, The New York Times
In 1972, researchers in North Carolina started following two groups of babies from poor families. In the first group, the children were given full-time day care up to age 5 that included most of their daily meals, talking, games and other stimulating activities. The other group, aside from baby formula, got nothing. The scientists were testing whether the special treatment would lead to better cognitive abilities in the long run.
Forty-two years later, the researchers found something that they had not expected to see: The group that got care was far healthier, with sharply lower rates of high blood pressure and obesity, and higher levels of so-called good cholesterol.
US - Everything We Know About Early Childhood Has Changed Since Head Start
Janell Ross and Amy Sullivan, The Atlantic
It seems clear that the most effective efforts to help low-income children get an early start go beyond teaching numbers and letters—they involve the family, community, everything. Everything is expensive.
UK - How charity chief executives can use social media to help their organisation
Zoe Amar, Guardian
Last year Matt Collins, a digital marketer, and I launched the Top 30 Charity chief executives on Social Media Awards, which reached 1.5 million people on Twitter and generated lots of media coverage. We were inspired by the growing number of charity chief executives using social media to reach out to stakeholders, campaign on behalf of their organisations and build valuable relationships.