Daily News - Thursday 19 February

Posted 19 February 2015 11:40am



Scott Morrison plans series of ‘carrots and sticks’ welfare tweaks

David Uren - The Australian

SOCIAL Services Minister Scott Morrison has unveiled a plan to cut the $150 billion welfare bill with a mix of carrots and sticks to lift workforce participation, which he concedes will require abandoning measures stalled in the Senate such as the six-month wait for young people to get the dole.

Mr Morrison says that measure “obviously hasn’t attracted ­support” but he is trying to focus negotiations with Senate crossbenchers on closing the three black holes in the welfare system: the alarming numbers dropping out of the workforce among young men, women raising families and older workers.

“Our goal is to get these people into work, get people back to work and get people to stay in work in those three critical participation-gap areas,” he told The Weekend Australian.

Mr Morrison said tinkering with different welfare policies could not achieve major savings in welfare spending, which consumes about a third of the federal budget.


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Canberra Catholic teachers flag industrial action over new code of behaviour provision

Primrose Riordan - The Canberra Times

The union covering Catholic school teachers in Canberra have ramped up its fight with employers over a new enterprise agreement, accusing employers of trying to control teacher's lives outside the classroom and suggesting further industrial action.

The latest stoush is over the insertion of a new clause into the agreement that would require teachers and other staff to abide by an "intrusive" code of behaviour in line with Catholic Church values inside and outside of work.

The Independent Education Union said the clause the Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER) employers proposed could see teachers disciplined for not adhering to Catholic values outside the classroom, including in their private relationships.

"The current clause in the Canberra agreement is that employees shall support the ethos and philosophy of Catholic education in the archdiocese," IEU assistant secretary Carol Matthews said.

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Six-month wait for dole ‘will lead to poverty on north coast’

The Echo

People under 30 on the north coast will live in poverty if they’re forced to wait six months for the dole under the federal government’s controversial Newstart changes, according to Richmond MP Justine Elliot.

The Labor MP went on the attack today against the National’s Page MP Kevin Hogan for supporting what she describes as ‘probably one of the meanest and harshest measures’ the coalition government had launched on the unemployed.

Mr Hogan told media that his colleague, social services minister Scott Morrison, was open to hearing locals’ concerns about the change, but Mrs Elliot accused him of using ‘weasel words’ because he had ‘constantly voted for the cruel and unfair measures’.

‘It’s a cynical effort by Mr Hogan to hide the fact that he voted for these extremely unfair and cruel measures,’ Mrs Elliot said.

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A quiet death by a thousand cuts

Tim Wilson - The Daily Telgraph

N a country like ours, freedom won’t die from a singular lethal act. It is suffocated as people are taught the easy lie that they can indulge in the rhetoric of human rights in one breath, and the dismissal of the freedom to exercise them in the next.

We’re told that we can speak freely, but not when it offends; that we have ­religious liberty, but don’t wear certain items of clothing; that we can freely ­associate, so long as it ticks a politically correct box; and that you own your own body, but we’re going to tell you what you can and can’t do with it.

Australia is a deeply pragmatic country. We care about human rights, but not in isolation. We expect others to exercise responsibility as a precondition of having rights. To gain public legitimacy the freedom to exercise rights has to be nested with fairness and justice.

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