News of the Day
Prominent Australians support increase to Newstart in May Budget
"More than forty prominent Australians and leading heads of charities, unions, and national community welfare organisations, have united to sign an Open Letter to the Federal Government, calling for an increase in income support allowance payments in the May Budget." ACOSS.
Time for a New Start: A Call to increase allowance payments
"On this Feast Day of St Joseph the Worker, let us consider the circumstances of those who are seeking work but are forced to rely on income support Allowances that drive individuals and families into poverty." A Pastoral Letter for the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, ACSJC.
No dragons live in PM's perilous fiscal fantasy
"Spending has blown out by 35 per cent a year since Labor came to office. Eighty cents in every dollar of income tax goes to social welfare and the government keeps promising to spend more." Miranda Devine, Daily Telegraph.
Another day poorer, deeper in debt
"So before we're engulfed by another round of upper middle class self-pity, I thought I'd get in early and tell you a little about the lives of people who really do have difficulty making ends meet." Ross Gittins, Sydney Morning Herald.
$300 for Julia Gillard's NDIS scheme? Please, my wheelchair costs $22,000
"The question of how we fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme is one one that I've managed to avoid for the past year. It’s an insulting question for me and the many other Australians with disabilities." Stella Young, news.com.au.
Taxes won't fix budget woes
"On the NDIS, now renamed DisabilityCare, the government should finish the pilots, independently evaluate them, bed down the detail, including the service system reforms needed to improve outcomes, and agree to a 10-year implementation plan with the states. Only then should we put all the funding options on the table through a cost-benefit analysis, including a levy paid by all taxpayers." Jennifer Westacott, The Australian.(log-in required.)
Disabled Australians need securely funded support
"By definition, insurance schemes are funded from members' premiums. For this reason it has always made sense that a national disability insurance scheme, like Medicare, should be funded from a levy on personal income tax." Editorial, The Australian. (log-in required)
Gainful work, out of the welfare rut
"Far too many people have been shunted towards the disability pension as a kind of surrogate dole. Their lives are the poorer for this, and so too is the nation as a whole." Editorial, Daily Telegraph.
Disability Support Pension to be targeted by Federal Government
"A crackdown on the $14 billion dollar a year disability support pension is being considered as the Government battles to fill its budget black hole." Sue Dunlevy, News Limited Network.
We all need look after the disabled
"Better support for disabled people wanting to enter the workforce could lift gross domestic product by a full percentage point by 2050, or $32 billion in today's prices, according to the Productivity Commission. Not only would these new workers pay income tax, they would require less income support." Jessica Irvine, Daily Telegraph.
Paying for the NDIS: what about a levy?
"There is increasing speculation that the Gillard Government is considering introducing a levy to help pay for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The question of how the NDIS would be financed was one of the key issues examined by the Productivity Commission (PC) in its inquiry which lead the Government to introduce the scheme." Luke Buckmaster, FlagPost.
Many services fail to clear high bar on childcare standards
"Almost a quarter of childcare services are failing to meet health and safety standards under rigorous new benchmarks designed to improve quality." Rachel Browne, Sydney Morning Herald.
Engaged or Detached?
"The detached writer understands that, at the top level, politics is a bipolar struggle for turf. But the real fun is down below, sparking conversations about underlying concepts, underlying reality and the underlying frame of debate." David Brooks, New York Times.