New item of the day
Single parents struggle after shift to Newstart: "A bleak picture of disadvantage among single parents forced onto Newstart has emerged, with a new Salvation Army report finding the contentious policy has compounded levels of deprivation." Shane Green and Rachel Browne, Sydney Morning Herald.
More than a quarter said they could not afford one main meal a day: "When the medical bills piled up, and with her income cut off, single mother of three Nina-Ann McCurley swallowed the "embarrassment" of her financial situation and asked for help. It was almost Christmas and she could not cope." Rick Morton, The Australian.
Women below poverty line live under the radar: "In my community, the Salvation Army's Streetlevel Mission in inner Sydney, we work with and support many homeless women who are experiencing poverty. They are not on the streets; they are taking shelter in unsafe lodgings, on friends' and associates' couches or other unsafe environments. They do this because homeless women tend to remain out of sight, away from areas where homeless people congregate for fear of violence, rape or other abuses." Robyn Evans, Canberra Times.
Housing beyond reach of most vulnerable: "Rebecca Miller and Wendy Armour, who run youth residential services for the Salvation Army Oasis Youth Network in southern Canberra, have both noticed that clients are staying with them sometimes months longer than may have been the case in the past." Peter Jean, Canberra Times.
Middle-class junkies need to wean themselves off welfare: "critics of middle-class welfare like me railed against Howard's taxpayer-funded hand-out as a sop to populism, a betrayal of the Liberal Party's philosophy of smaller government and greater individual responsibility." Janet Albrechtsen, The Australian.
No Advantage And No Courage: Foot people, boat people, plane people? The way asylum seekers arrive in Australia now determines how they're treated. It's an indictment of an entire political class, writes Michael Jones in New Matilda.
Ombudsman finds long-term detention linked to self harm: "Commonwealth Ombudsman Colin Neave has expressed concern about the mental health of people being held in detention centres for long periods of time, saying the policies for dealing with them are inadequate." Karen Barlow and Eliza Borrello, ABC.
Detainee self-harm falls but figures questioned: "Self-harm rates among asylum seekers in Australian detention centres has dramatically fallen since September 2011." Bianca Hall, Canberra Times.
ACTU urges $30-a-week rise for lowest paid: "More than a million low-paid Australians who depend on the nation's award system to set their wages should get a 79¢-an-hour wage rise, the ACTU has told the national industrial relations commission." Clay Lucas, Sydney Morning Herald.
Aged-care providers concerned funds have been linked to industrial outcomes: "The opposition is likely to move amendments to remove from the Gillard government's $1.2 billion aged-care package the condition that employers must strike an enterprise agreement to qualify for the boost to workers' wages." Patricia Karvelas, The Australian.
Taxing pressure for more dollars: "The disability insurance scheme represents a clear extension of the social safety net. Nothing could make more sense than saying such an extension would need to be covered by higher taxation. Yet Julia Gillard, proud mother of this historic reform, lacked the courage to propose such an obvious measure until forced by budget realities just a week or two ago." Ross Gittins, Sydney Morning Herald.
New VCOSS CEO Emma King: "The Board of the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS), the state’s peak welfare organisation, has appointed a new Chief Executive Officer - the second top appointment in less than 10 months." Pro Bono News.
Debate Asks Are There Too Many Not for Profits?: "The question is often bandied around about the increase in organisations in the third sector and recently the NAB Corporate Volunteering group organised a public debate on the thorny question, ‘Are there too many Not for Profit organisations in Australia?’" Pro Bono News.
Rudd's gay marriage backflip fires church-state debate: "Those who bother to read the lengthy blog entry in which Rudd announced his change of heart, however, will be drawn into a broader debate about the relationship between church and state, a debate of a kind that takes place too rarely in Australian politics." Ray Cassin, Eureka Street.