Daily News - Monday 28 July 2014
A $5.1 billion overhaul of the Government's job services system to be unveiled today will include a raft of changes, including wage subsidies for young and long-term unemployed people.
Exposure Draft of the Purchasing Arrangements for Employment Services 2015-2020
Department of Employment
The Exposure Draft of the Employment Services 2015-2020 Purchasing Arrangements will be available at www.tenders.gov.au from 9 am, Monday 28 July 2014.
Search and work to keep the dole
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian ($)
Job-seekers will be compelled to conduct 40 job searches a month and carry out up to 25 hours a week of community work to keep dole payments, in a radical extension of mutual obligation to be unveiled by the federal government.
Extending work for the dole and the creation of new wage subsidies for the long-term unemployed will be a key part of the proposed $5.1 billion job placement system the government plans to role out next year.
No place for bludgers in Abbott Government’s tough welfare reforms
Editorial, The Sunday Mail
As this newspaper foreshadowed some months ago, the Abbott Government is cracking down on welfare cheats and dole recipients. From July 1 next year, working for the dole will become mandatory for almost every jobseeker in the country under expanded and tougher welfare reforms.
About 800,000 jobs seekers will have to look for more jobs, do more training and work for local councils or not-for-profit groups if they remain on benefits for more than a year.
The revamp is even tougher than the Government’s initial Work for the Dole scheme which started this month at only 18 locations throughout the country for job seekers aged 18-29. They have to work for the dole for only 12-15 hours a week for six months. Soon, that will increase to 25 hours a week.
Why work for the dole doesn't work
Callam Pickering, Business Spectator
Research in 2004 by Jeff Borland and Yi-Ping Tseng of Melbourne University found that “there appear to be quite large adverse effects of participation in [work for the dole]”. Those who were not in the program generally found it easier to find active employment.
Participation in these programs mostly diverts participants away from jobseeking activities towards what is often menial and unrewarding work. Some readers might doubt the significance of this effect but we should bear in mind that many candidates will have to write dozens of applications simply to find a single interview, let alone a job.
Work for the dole expansion continues government's attack on job seekers
Greens, media release
The Australian Greens said today a significant number of jobseekers will be punished and disadvantaged from any expansion of work for the dole.
"Work for the Dole is not an effective program for getting people into work and study, and is just another example of the Government's ideological war against income support and social security," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on family and community services said today.
Dole bludgers sleep through job interviews as work ‘doesn’t pay enough’
Renee Viellaris, The Courier Mail
Bludgers are refusing jobs and staying on the dole because they can’t be bothered getting out of bed for interviews or work they are offered does not suit their lifestyle.
The Department of Human Services has discovered slackers are intentionally making themselves “unemployable” and some dole bludgers even claim working for a living does not pay enough.
Men of a certain age receive DSP, not dole
Natasha Bita, The Australian ($)
Middle-aged men who lose their jobs are more likely to end up on the disability pension than the dole, a new study shows.
Manual workers with a high-school education have a 55 per cent chance of ending up on the Disability Support Pension if they are retrenched.
Half the men sacked from manual jobs in their 50s or early 60s receive a disability pension, compared to a third of the older workers retrenched from all types of jobs.
Report: Disengagement of mature age people from the labour force: Reasons, financial outcomes and access to training
Tim Adair and Emma Lourey, National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre (NSPAC
Following the recent announcement of the increase in the eligibility age for the Age Pension to 70 years in 2035, this report provides a timely analysis of the types of workers most at risk of losing their job before the age of 65. The report details the types of Government payments received by people who have left the workforce prematurely, as well as their access to training opportunities. The report emphasises the need for the provision of early investments in reskilling opportunities for mature age people lacking formal qualifications and most at risk of long-term unemployment.
To download a copy of the full report click here.
Record numbers living on Melbourne streets
Aisha Dow, The Age
Record numbers of homeless people have been counted living on the streets of Melbourne, as help services strain under fresh demand created by a "perfect storm" of economic and social pressures in Victoria.
In recent years Melbourne City Council's regular survey of rough sleepers has found a relatively stable homeless population of about 100 people. But the most recent survey has revealed an unexpected 40 per cent increase since the last count in 2012.
Young homeless couple in Ballarat found dead in car from heater
Caroline Zielinski, the Age
A young, homeless couple and their dog have been found dead in their car, apparently killed by a gas heater they were using to keep warm.
Police say the 27-year-old man and 24-year-old woman, both from Ballarat and believed to have been living in the car, were using a butane gas heater to keep the chill away when they died.
SoupBus founder says homelessness is on the rise
Melissa Cunningham, Ballarat Courier
A Ballarat homeless advocate has dubbed the death of two young people in their car a "senseless tragedy" and says the city is in the midst of a housing crisis.
... "It is just heartbreaking," Mr Schepis. "The isolation and vulnerability of people experience by people in these situations is crippling."
Mr Schepis said the stigma attached to homelessness means people are often plagued by shame and humiliation and the human face of the crisis remains hidden away.
"We see this every day, it happens all the time," Mr Schepis said. "People live in tragic circumstances but homelnesses continues to be socially unacceptable so it goes largely unseen.
Girls sleep in dumpster for homeless awareness
Jon Coghill and Karyn Wood, ABC
Two 15-year-old highschool girls will be hoping for clear skies as they sleep in an industrial rubbish bin to raise awareness of homelessness this weekend.
Grace Hopes says she believes some students at her school would be classified as homeless.
"I think what a lot of people don't realise is that homelessness is also when you're coach surfing between friend's houses or sleeping in a car," she said.
NSW government closes doors to women fleeing violence
Anne Summers, Sydney Morning Herald
There was a lunch in Eden, in the state’s south, on Wednesday, where a large crowd turned out to mark the closing, after seven years, of the local domestic violence outreach service.
It had been attached to the Bega Women’s Refuge which is being handed over to Mission Australia as part of the state government's Going Home, Staying Home homelessness reforms, and which is now limping along, most of its staff having gone or been let go, and unable to take in women fleeing violence.
UK - Homelessness is a public health crisis
Rick Henderson, The Guardian
Experiencing homelessness significantly increases your chance of having long-term physical health problem or being diagnosed with a mental health condition. More than 70% of respondents to a survey of more than 2,500 homeless people across England reported one or more physical health problems, while more than more than eight out of 10 reported a mental health issue.
Life after debt with payday lending
Jonathan Pearlman, The Saturday Paper
Watching the end of Deal or No Deal before the evening news, Paul Gardener saw an advertisement he thought would solve all his problems.
Gardener, 27, had quit his job as a supermarket manager three years earlier when his mother developed breast cancer. He started caring for her full-time, switching from his $1000 weekly income to a carer’s pension of about $400 a week.
The drop in income left him struggling to pay his $850 a month rent for a share apartment in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray. And then, early last year, he saw an advertisement that promised fast easy cash.
Early childhood experts pan report
Rachel Kleinman, Sydney Morning Herald
Some of the childcare policies touted by the Productivity Commission risk dire consequences for children’s wellbeing and development, according to early childhood experts. One academic said it would be "internationally embarrassing" if Australia put economics and workforce participation ahead of children’s needs.
Ministers to join pro-lifer who believes the 'pill kills' at World Congress of Families
Heath Aston, Sydney Morning Herald
Women who take the pill choose partners who share a similar genetic profile causing them to lose interest in sex and become more likely to be the victim of violent assault and murder.
It is just one of the unconventional theories of Dr Angela Lanfranchi, an American pro-life campaigner who also pushes the debunked link between abortion and breast cancer.
Dr Lanfranchi is set to speak at next month's "World Congress of Families" event in Melbourne where she will share the stage with federal Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews, and a number of Victorian Liberals, including state Attorney-General Robert Clark and anti-abortion campaigner and Victorian upper house MP Bernie Finn.
US - Catholic Charities promote case management approach to poverty reduction
Catholic Charities USA, media release
Earlier this week, Rep. Paul Ryan visited with caseworkers and clients at Christo Rey Parish in Racine, Wisconsin, to see first-hand the impact that results-based and innovative service delivery models can have on reducing poverty in local communities and across the nation.
... “It was a privilege to host Representative Ryan today,” said Fr. Dave Bergner, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. “It was a wonderful opportunity for us to show the difference that individualized case management can make in addressing the needs of those who are struggling to get their lives back on track. We were so proud to share the stories of our clients who have come so far.”
“Individualized case management services can be just the helping hand that individuals and families in poverty are in need of,” said Deacon Richard Sage, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of LaCrosse. “Being able to discuss these innovative approaches with the congressman was an exciting chance to show the difference Catholic Charities agencies can make.”
To get out of poverty, some people need just temporary assistance. But to stay out of poverty, many people need to develop skills and life habits. In administering aid, the federal government has a major influence on low-income housing, transportation, and child care—all of which can help or hinder people trying to get ahead. Far too often, federal aid is fragmented and formulaic; it doesn’t coordinate these services to help people achieve their goals.
But there are organizations that do provide such comprehensive assistance, such as Catholic Charities. These groups focus on the unique needs of each family and help people develop their individual strengths. It is their intimate knowledge of the people they serve—as well as their ability to take the long view—that makes these groups so successful. They are more effective than distant federal bureaucracies for a simple reason: They don’t just relieve the pain of poverty; they give people the means to get out of poverty.
Inspired by their example, this proposal seeks to combine the resources of the federal government with the vast knowledge of states and local communities. By offering a more dynamic form of aid, the federal government can create a safety net that both catches the falling and supports the striving.
US - The Poor Don’t Need a Life Coach
Jamelle Bouie, Slate
What if the poor need more than disposable income to escape poverty? What if they need a life coach?
That’s the position of House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, who in his new anti-poverty plan wants poor families to work with government agencies or charitable nonprofits to craft “life plans” as a condition of receiving federal assistance under his proposed “opportunity grants.” “In the envisioned scenario providers would work with families to design a customized life plan to provide a structured roadmap out of poverty,” Ryan writes. At a minimum, these life plans would include “a contract outlining specific and measurable benchmarks for success,” a “timeline” for meeting them, “sanctions” for breaking them, “incentives for exceeding the terms of the contract,” and “time limits”—presumably independent of actual program limits—for “remaining on cash assistance.”
Brandis ties NGO funding to non-advocacy
Mike Seccombe, The Saturday Paper
There was something missing from the revised service agreements under which the federal government provides funding to community legal centres around Australia, recently sent out to 140-odd such organisations.
The old clause five was gone. That was the one that began: “The Commonwealth is committed to ensuring that its agreements do not contain provisions that could be used to stifle legitimate debate or prevent organisations engaging in advocacy activities.”
Pope Francis and Economic Justice
Charles Chaput, National Catholic Register
In matters of economic justice, Francis’ concerns are the same as Benedict’s and John Paul II’s and Pius XI’s and Leo XIII’s. He understands economic matters through the lens of Church teaching in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Like his predecessors, he defends human dignity in a world that consistently threatens it. But Francis stresses more directly than they did that human solidarity is a necessary dimension of human dignity. We need both. Human dignity requires not just the protection of individuals, as in our pro-life work, but an ongoing commitment to the common good.