Daily News - Tuesday 22 July 2014

Posted 22 July 2014 8:05am

Use some of PM’s parental leave money for childcare instead: Productivity Commission
Michelle Grattan, The Conversation

The Productivity Commission has issued a challenge to Tony Abbott by saying that some funds from his expensive proposed paid parental leave scheme should be redirected to child care.


Childcare rebate: Productivity Commission calls for means testing, says subsidy should cover use of nannies
Jean Kennedy, ABC

The childcare rebate for families should be means-tested, with middle and upper-income families paying more than they do now, a new report into the nation's childcare system suggests.

The draft Productivity Commission report also proposes the rebate cover the use of nannies, to allow more flexibility for families, especially shift workers.


Call for paid childcare for 'qualified' grandparents: productivity commission
Miki Perkins, The Age

Nannies and grandparents could be paid by the government to look after children if they get TAFE qualifications under a proposal to overhaul the nation’s convoluted childcare system.

The bewildering array of childcare subsidies should be replaced with a single, means-tested payment that would go directly to the parents' choice of provider, according to a draft report by the Productivity Commission.


Extension of relief a waste of $8bn
Judith Sloan, The Australian ($)

Childcare is a classic case of a badly designed policy whose features are difficult to reverse. The increase in the contribution from the taxpayer has been monumental — 300 per cent in a decade — and the observed gains have been very modest, certainly in terms of increased female labour force participation.

The real problem is how some of the worst features of this policy can be reversed. The PC has taken the easy way out and decided that the only feasible path forward is to plough on with what we have. I’m not so sure — $8bn is a hell of a lot of money, some of which could easily be put to better use; by funding the National Disability Insurance Scheme, for instance.


PC report - Childcare and Early Childhood Learning
Productivity Commission, draft report

This report was released on 22 July 2014. You are invited to examine the draft report and to make written submissions and to participate in public hearings.


Shorten long on compassion
Nick Cater, The Australian ($)

Take welfare, for example. It is hard to believe that in his quieter moments Shorten does not accept that Australia’s quirky system needs fixing, and that reform is long overdue.

Yet the cold, hard truth about welfare reform is that, properly done, it will deliver smaller cheques — or no cheques at all — to hundreds of thousands of Australians. Most of them have the ­capacity to vote and not all of them are bludgers, as they will no doubt be telling a reporter from ABC’s AM if the government drops the slightest hint it is taking the findings of Patrick McClure seriously.


NZ - Benefit numbers well down
Radio New Zealand

The number of people receiving welfare benefits in the June quarter has decreased by 16,196 compared to June last year.
Paula Bennett

The decrease was largely driven by drops in Sole Parent Support and Jobseeker Support numbers.

Social Development Minister, Paula Bennett, said most significant is the 10.7 percent total drop in people on the Sole Parent Support benefit in the past year.

She said sole parents, particularly those who go on a benefit in their teens, have the highest lifetime costs of any group on welfare and are more likely to stay on the benefit the longest.


To prevent reoffending, how about giving former prisoners support?
Julie Edwards, The Guardian

To understand how to reduce recidivism, we must understand the complex disadvantage of people in the prison system – and how they struggle to rebuild a life once outside


It’s Time Business Played its Part in Disability Employment
Anne Bryce, Pro Bono News

According to the ABS, in 2014 almost 20 per cent of our population have a disability and are supported by Carers making up a further 12 per cent of our population. Together they make up 32 per cent of our population that could be significantly affected by the Federal Government welfare cutbacks.

What is even more worrying is that many people with disability do not have the education and training necessary to successfully compete with unemployed people without disability. So, how do we ensure that people with disability are not damaged by the barriers created by employers?


Avoiding a lost generation: ten recommendations to support youth entrepreneurship across the G20
Ernst and Young, report

Of the many and varied repercussions of the 2007-08 financial crisis, one that rippled across borders to impact both developed and developing economies was rising unemployment, an issue that affected young people in particular.

As part of our ongoing work to support entrepreneurship and its impact on job creation, our latest report, Avoiding a lost generation: ten key recommendations to support youth entrepreneurship across the G20, highlights some very clear and actionable guidance based on best practices adopted by governments across the G20.


Will there be a Royal Commission into premature deaths caused by the Federal Budget?
Peter Brooks, Crikey

Inequality is already a significant problem in Australia and this budget places a significant additional financial impost on the very generation that we should be nurturing, this budget attacks the young people of Australia.

What evidence is there to suggest that the 2014 budget is going to increase disease and quicken the spread of inequality across the community? Government officials have stated that they expect 550,000 applications for assistance in the form of food vouchers, medications, clothing and assistance with rent and utility bills.

The risk for young folk who are targeted in this budget is that they slip into a spiral of unemployment, inability to pursue education and, because of their dire social circumstances (including poor nutrition) develop mental and physical illness.


Australia puzzles a world with far more asylum seekers of its own
Klaus Neumann, The Conversation

From the perspective of the global north, Australia has always been an oddity. Its policies often seem as strange and inexplicable as its fauna. “They are strange those Australians, strangers to the world,” a reader commented last year on an article about Australia’s “PNG solution” for dealing with asylum seekers arriving by boat that appeared in the French newspaper Le Monde.


Inequality: Let them eat cosmopolitanism
Ryan Avent, The Economist

Tyler Cowen has written a column on inequality, in which he notes that while inequality is rising within many economies it is falling globally. That is true, though it is worth pointing out that among the economies within which inequality is rising are large emerging markets like China and India. Still, the world's poor countries have become much less poor relative to the world's rich countries over the last few decades (though perhaps not relative to the rich in the world's rich countries) and that is unequivocally good news.


Funding Opportunities for Community Groups
NSW Parliamentary Research Service, issues backgrounder (PDF)

Members of Parliament regularly receive requests directly or through their electorate offices about funding opportunities for community groups. This Issues Backgrounder is designed to assist in responding to such requests. It is organised under the following headings:

  • Government gateways to community grants
  • Non-government gateways to community grants
  • Grants in selected subject areas
  • Selected private sector/non-government funding sources
  • Selected local government funding sources
  • List of useful links


An intelligent approach to reducing the risk from social media
Damon Kitney, The Australian ($)

... ask [Greg] Daniel whether the nation’s top chief executives need to get themselves on to Twitter, Facebook or other social networks in a hurry, his response is surprisingly contrarian.

“I wouldn’t recommend a number of CEOs run off and start using Twitter and get on Facebook. I think it is unnecessary. But I think they are aware enough to know their organisations need to be on social media. It would certainly be helpful if they had some working knowledge of how the platforms are used by the various stakeholder groups,” he says.


WA Catholic news off The Record

Australia's oldest weekly newspaper is closing down.

The Record, Western Australia's Catholic newspaper, which was established in 1874, will publish its final edition on July 23.


Is the Pope Catholic or communist when he speaks out on poverty?
Bruce Duncan, The Conversation

Pope Francis’s views are arousing controversy, since many people seem unaware how strongly Catholic social thinking is opposed to the neoliberal policies of the free-marketeers.

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