Daily News - Monday 14 April 2014

Posted 14 April 2014 8:51am

Young unemployed triple since GFC
Konrad Marshall, The Age ($)

The number of young people facing long-term unemployment in Australia has tripled since the global financial crisis, according to a new analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

In 2008 there were 19,500 long- term unemployed young people (aged 15 to 24) in Australia, compared to 56,800 now.

The dumbest cut of all
Scott Pape, Herald Sun

Financial counsellors aren’t in it for the money — they get paid less than a bank teller. And they help you get back on your feet after you’ve been knocked to the ground. They stand up to the banks. They fight the good fight. And they do it all for free.

And word has it that potentially half of them will be sacked come July 1st.

$200 for marriage counselling a nice idea but what's the point?
Gay Alcorn, The Age

From July, couples intending to get married will be eligible for a $200 government-funded voucher for relationship counselling. It’s something of a pet project of Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews, and the idea was met with predictable scorn from those who see this government as determined to take us on a nostalgia trip to the 1950s.

Voices raised, emotions high in pro-refugee demonstration
Ross Peake, Canberra Times

Pat Power, retired Catholic bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, questioned the mandate behind the Operation Sovereign Borders policy of the Abbott government.

''During the last federal election campaign we witnessed an obscene contest where the Labor and Coalition parties were seemingly trying to outdo each other with tough and cynical rhetoric aimed at frightening the electorate away from a compassionate, fair and humane approach to the plight of some of the world's most needy people,'' he said.

Welfare Trap for Australia Disabled Pushes Half to Poverty: Jobs
Angus Whitley, Bloomberg (3 April)

Allen Rankin says living on Australian welfare payments designed to help him survive his mental disability instead left him contemplating suicide.

Determined to shake off his depression, Rankin registered with an employment agency and landed a job last year at a metal components factory. Now he’s building a new life with plans to buy a car and find his own place to live.

Government urged to target seniors, families in budget cuts by economics group Macroeconomics

An economic forecaster is urging the Federal Government to "cut hard and cut early" in next month's budget, targeting seniors, families and businesses.

Re-moralising the pension
Jeremy Sammut, Centre for Independent Studies

The old age pension used to be about the morality of self-reliance. But the contemporary culture of entitlement means that the pension today is about the immorality of encouraging dependence on government hand-outs and permitting the elderly to help themselves to younger people's income.

Joe Hockey hints at raising pension age to 70 and changes to asset rules
Gabrielle Chan, The Guardian

Joe Hockey has called for “a mature debate” on raising the retirement age to 70 and for a discussion about aged-pension asset rules while defending the paid parental leave scheme promised by the prime minister, Tony Abbott.

Beyond the sound bite
Emily Millane, Australian Ageing Agenda

It’s natural for stakeholders to defend the interests of the people they represent, but the serious issues that the ageing population presents for Australia means we need some sensible solutions – not just hot air.

The future face of poverty? Women
Sophie Elsworth, News Corp Australia

One in three Australian women does not have a single cent in superannuation, leaving themselves with nothing to retire on.

The alarming figures from an Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia report found 35 per cent of women have no money stashed away for retirement.

Understanding child neglect
Debbie Scott, Child Family Community Australia

Child neglect is one of the most commonly reported forms of maltreatment. However, it is also one of the most difficult to substantiate and respond to. Issues such as poverty, parent's gender (i.e., mothers and in particular, single mothers), family structure, ethnicity, and access to resources are inextricably tied to neglect and can all play an important role in how neglect is conceptualised. The way that families and childhood are perceived varies across social groups, communities, and cultures and that perception is key to any response to or understanding of neglect.

Abbott's clumsy culture war
Nick Dyrenfurth, The Saturday Paper

The real culture war in Australia today is not one waged between conservatives and progressives, or even left versus right. Rather it pits doctrinal libertarians against a new communitarian alignment of progressives and small “c” conservatives. It is a war between people who are intent on the hyper-individualisation of Australian life, and advocate a scorched-earth approach to economic management and the destruction of venerable public institutions, and people who reject the false division between individuality and collectivism, and the tired debate between advocates of “too much market” and “too much state”.

Pope Francis names British woman to head pontifical academy

Pope Francis has named a British sociologist to run a pontifical academy, marking the highest-ranking appointment of a woman in his papacy.

The Vatican announced Saturday that Margaret Scotford Archer will lead the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, which produces research to help the church establish policy.

Francis has made giving women a greater-decision making role in the church a priority of his papacy.

Pope apologizes for clerical sex abuse, promises tough sanctions
David Gibson, Religion News Service

In his strongest personal remarks yet on the clergy sex abuse scandal, Pope Francis on Friday asked forgiveness "for the damage" abusive priests have inflicted on children and pledged that the Catholic church "will not take one step backward" in efforts to address the crisis.

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