Daily News - Friday 2 May 2014

Posted 2 May 2014 8:26am

Tax: the flaw at the heart of the National Commission of Audit
Peter Martin, Sydney Morning Herald

Whether by design or not, the people most likely to be hurt by the commission of audit’s recommendations are Australia’s most vulnerable. It wouldn’t have been so if it had devoted equal or any attention to tax breaks.


Commission of Audit: jobless young people urged to move or lose benefits
Oliver Laughland, The Guardian

Young people without a job for over a year should move to areas of high employment or lose all access to unemployment benefits, according to recommendations in the Commission of Audit report.

The hardline recommendation states it is “reasonable to expect young long-term unemployed people to improve their job prospects by requiring those aged 22 to 30 to relocate to a high employment area”.


Commission of Audit report released: experts respond
Ben Phillips, The Conversation

The unemployment benefits (allowances) recommendations suggest young unemployed should move to high-employment centres and that their payments be reduced more quickly than is currently the case. These recommendations are mostly based on ideology and are unlikely to have a significant impact on the unemployment rate. The impact will hit single parents who have been shifted onto the Newstart Allowance payment as they will have less incentive to work and a smaller allowance for the hours they already work.


Homelessness funding needs to be longer term, urge welfare groups
Mike Sexton, ABC

A welfare provider is urging the Federal Government consider longer-term funding commitments to help address homelessness.

Uniting Communities CEO Simon Schrapel says long-term investment could improve security for staff and clients and let organisations be innovative and improve how their programs are run.


Resolving long-term homelessness
Guy Johnson, Daniel Kuehnle, Sharon Parkinson, Sandra Sesa, Yi-Ping Tseng, RMIT & Sacred Heart Mission (via APO)

... the evidence shows that breaking the cycle of chronic homelessness is possible and that intensive support coupled with stable housing can reduce demand on expensive health, justice and welfare services. However, the study also found the deep effects of social exclusion are much harder to address


Canberra housing service giving advice to homeless on sleeping rough safely
Anna Morozow, ABC

Homeless people in Canberra forced to sleep rough are being advised to bunk down near fast food outlets or petrol stations to stay safe.

The ACT's housing support service has been giving advice to homeless people as they wait to access emergency accommodation.


Government should hand housing over to charities, says Southern Youth and Family Services
Angela Thompson, Illawarra Mercury

Government should hand over title on some of the state's housing properties to charities that could leverage the buildings to borrow money and provide more stock, an Illawarra charity chief has told the state's inquiry into affordable housing.


New tests for disability pension
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian

The ballooning disability support pension will be cut by forcing those on the payment to face more regular and stricter reviews.

Under National Commission of Audit proposals, the DSP would also be gradually reduced by moving to a new benchmark of 28 per cent of average weekly earnings. The commission also wants new eligibility requirements, including replacing income and assets tests with a single comprehensive means test, including the value of the principal residence above thresholds of $750,000 for pensioner couples and $500,000 for single pensioners; and increasing the income test withdrawal (taper) rate from 50 per cent to 75 per cent.


Disability Enterprises Decision Criticised
Pro Bono News

National Disability Groups and the Federal Government have criticised the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) decision to allow just 12 months for 10,000 supported employees to be re-assessed using a different wage tool.


UK - There are better ways of helping long-term unemployed than punitive Help to Work
Daniel Sage and Adam Coutts, The Conversation

There is now another slide in the UK towards American-style “workfare” programmes aimed at getting the unemployed back to work as quickly as possible. The evidence showing that workfare programmes actually work is mixed to say the least.

Under new rules, the long-term unemployed will face one of three options: daily meetings with Jobcentre advisers, six months' unpaid “voluntary” work or more rigorous training and support. There is of course a fourth option, one that explains why the reforms are so controversial: benefit sanctions.


How to Use Social Media to Help Social Causes
Russell Bishop, Huggington Post

Instead of money pitches, focus on educating readers and followers about the issues. Somewhat counter intuitively, don't be afraid to share the similar good works others are doing that align with your organization's purpose.

If your cause truly is about producing some kind of social good, you want to view other people doing good work as allies, not competitors. Socially-conscious readers will appreciate that you are putting the spotlight on the importance of the issue, not on your need for funds. The more you use your social accounts to educate readers and followers about the issues, about the impacts of the issues, and about ways people are making a difference, the more you will gain inspired, engaged supporters.

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