Daily News - Monday 16th March 2015

Posted 16 March 2015 4:59pm




ABC Local Radio

It is the fourth in the series inaugurated by Peter Costello as Treasurer in the Howard Government.

Broadly the intent of the Intergenerational report is to track where the Australian population budget and economy will be in forty years time.

The report also suggests ways we might attempt to get there sustainably.

And this is where the argument begins. The current report has been criticised as having a more polemical and even political thrust than previous documents.

That the ways forward seem to rely principally on reductions in government outlays to areas associated with health and welfare including pensions.

Is this the only way to go, or does it depend on your assumptions about what sort of Australia we envison for our grandchildren?

Joining us to discuss the intergenerational report are representatives of three of Australia's major church welfare providers, Roland Manderson of Anglicare, Joe Zabar of Uniting Care, and Marcelle Mogg of Catholic Social Services.

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Explainer: the policy challenge of indexing welfare payments

Phil Lewis - The Conversation

Changes to the way Australia’s Age Pension is indexed, flagged in treasurer Joe Hockey’s first budget, are not due to commence until September 2017. But amid widespread disquiet in the community, Social Services Minister Scott Morrison has said he is open to working through “alternative scenarios” to make the pension sustainable.

In attempting to balance the budget welfare is an obvious area for reform. Welfare spending in 2014-15 is predicted to be A$146 billion of which aged pensions, disability pensions and unemployment benefits make up over A$70 billion.

It is common in many countries, including Australia, for social security payments such as pensions to be indexed in order to maintain their real value over time which would otherwise be eroded by inflation.

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Pope Francis is planning on retirement.

The Inquisitr

Resignation is practically unheard of when it comes to the papacy. Usually — or rather, almost always — when a pope is elected, he remains in power for the rest of his life. To put this into perspective, when Pope Benedict XVI retired in 2013, he was the first pope to do so since Pope Gregory XII did it in 1415.

Now, however, it seems that Pope Francis might be interested in making resignation the norm instead of the exception.

In a Spanish-language interview with Mexican broadcaster Televisa that was posted yesterday (see video below), Pope Francis stated that he thought his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, showed “great bravery” when he retired the papacy to become emeritus pope in 2013.

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Tasmanian Aboriginal community seeks control of welfare decisions affecting children

Lucy Shannon - ABC News

Tasmania's Aboriginal community wants to be given control of child protection and welfare decisions for Aboriginal children.

A new Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre report, Keeping Our Children With Us, has called for the transfer of jurisdiction over child protection to the Aboriginal community.

The report's author, Heather Sculthorpe, said when Aboriginal children were removed under child protection orders in Tasmania they were rarely returned to their families.

She said many of the children were being placed with non-indigenous families.

"There is a disproportionate number of Aboriginal children who get taken away from their families, they are lost then to the community, to their culture," Ms Sculthorpe said.

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