Daily News - Tuesday 6 May 2014

Posted 6 May 2014 8:05am

Youth in jobless families struggle on all fronts: school, work & hope
Mission Australia, media release

Young people in families where no parent is in employment are less satisfied in school, less likely to be working part-time or planning to go to university and are more concerned about family conflict, according to a new report released today by Mission Australia.

The national Jobless Families Report also shows the ‘death of hope’ in such families with around 50% in this group of young people reporting a lack of confidence in their ability to get a job in their community.


When things are grim, people need financial counsellors
Scott Pape, Herald Sun (botttom of page)

Tony Abbott says things are pretty grim.

If he’s right, it underscores why my ongoing campaign to have the Government maintain its funding for free, community-based financial counsellors is so important. When things are grim, financial counsellors get flooded with people needing help. Right now the waiting list is about 10 weeks.


Stunned. Incredulous. Shocked
Financial Counselling Australia, media release

Financial counsellors around Australia will be aghast that the Commission of Audit can so blithely – in 72 words – recommend de-funding all but $6 million of the $100 million the Commonwealth Government invests in the Financial Management Program.

The Commission of Audit has also recommended the de-funding of rural financial counselling services.


Budget 2014: Andrew Forrest to recommend teens not in work or school should lose welfare
Eliza Borrello, ABC

The ABC can reveal the Federal Government is being urged to strip welfare from teenagers if they are not in school, work or training in next week's budget.


Cutting payments and employment supports puts young people at risk
ACOSS, media release

Australia's peak community sector and youth affairs bodies today expressed deep concern at proposals to deprive young people of payments and employment services, that would make it harder for them to get ahead, especially those with no family support or from low income families.


Cutting dole for jobless who won’t move gets thumbs down
Joanna Heath, Australian Financial Review

The government’s Productivity Commission says a proposal by the National Commission of Audit to cut unemployed people off welfare if they refuse to move closer to jobs won’t work.

Overall, Australia’s labour force is fairly responsive to employment demand in different geographic areas, the commission says in a final report on labour mobility, and this is helping the economy adjust to the end of the mining boom.


Productivity Commission report shows government programs mobilising workforce haven't made big difference
Naomi Woodley, ABC

The Productivity Commission has found that government policies to encourage unemployed people to move for work have not always made a big difference.

... The Commission of Audit recommends the Government force long-term unemployed people, who are single and between the ages of 22 and 30, to move to areas of higher employment if they have been on the dole for 12 months.

But Ms McClelland says it is not a suggestion the Productivity Commission considered.


Outsourcing, APS efficiency and procurement in Audit Commission crosshairs
Julian Bajkowski, Government News

When now Treasurer Joe Hockey was dispatched from the front bench and government in 2007, there was plenty of unfinished business left on the table in terms of reforming how the Commonwealth transacts with constituents.

Never a fan of unnecessary complexity, Australia’s first minister for Human Services watched a vision for a single, efficient interface between citizens and government in the form of the $1.1 billion ‘Access Card’ perish thanks to the political expediency necessitated by elections.

Many of those themes have now returned to the debate surrounding public administration, even if they are towards what political observers might refer to as the ‘back of the book’.


Hockey's Commission of Audit anything but responsible
Peter Martin, The Age

Who in their right mind would hit anyone with an effective marginal tax rate of 94 per cent?

Australia’s top personal income tax rate has never hit 80 per cent. Labor’s resource super profits tax amounted to 70 per cent - a 40 per cent surcharge on top of a 30 per cent tax rate. Labor feared that any more would take away the incentive to mine.

Yet the Commission of Audit wants to hit Australians moving from the dole back into the workforce with an effective marginal tax rate of 94 per cent on wages of $19,0000 to $32,000.


Audit costs $2.5m
Nick Butterly, The West Australian

They may be lecturing Australians about the need for belt-tightening but the Government's Commission of Audit could not keep to its own budget to produce its landmark stocktake.


A fiscal crisis? It’s about political priorities and neglected choices
Ben Spies-Butcher, The Conversation

It seems every few years our governments tell us that we are in such dire financial straits that we need to suffer cuts to services and payments. Such warnings inevitably come with even more drastic tales of woe for the future – usually based on the impact of an ageing population. The problem is, the evidence to support these claims is weak and points to alternative (often opposing) policy solutions.


Centrelink responds to complaints by acting on Ombudsman recommendations
Paul Hemsley, Government News

Commonwealth Ombudsman Colin Neave has given 12 remedial recommendations to welfare agency Centrelink to pull its socks up after receiving 9,600 complaints from fed up customers about its service delivery.


Make growth socially inclusive for improved well-being and stronger economies – OECD report

Inequality – now at its highest level in decades in many countries – undermines economic growth and well-being, says a new OECD report.

But policies to tackle the widening gap between rich and poor will only succeed if they also look beyond income and address better access to high-quality education, health care and public infrastructure, it adds.


Scrap FBT exemptions for not-for-profits, says Judith Sloan
Judith Sloan, The Australian ($)

The fringe benefits tax exemption on entertainment expenses of employees working for a not-for-profit organisation and public hospitals is an unjustified rort and should be closed down immediately. The general FBT exemption for these bodies also needs to be scaled back across time.


Memos to PM: for god’s sake, don’t levy the levy
Gary Johns, The Australian ($)

The parable of the talents demonstrates Christ’s respect for the work and reward. This is harsh medicine, but it is recognition that talent begets wealth.

In Australia’s progressive income taxation system, talent is rewarded but also taxed.


Chaplains challenge has round two in court

The Queensland father who nearly took down the school chaplaincy program is headed back to the High Court for round two against the federal government.


Shining a light on charities
Michael Short, Canberra Times

... the not-for-profit sector is now suffering a crisis of uncertainty. Before the last election, the Coalition announced that were it to win power it would abolish the ACNC as part of its drive to cut red tape. The end of the ACNC would be, the government subsequently said, an element of its ''bonfire of legislation''.

The sector, which knows it needs reform, is aghast. Forty peak bodies and not-for-profit leaders recently wrote to Prime Minister Tony Abbott urging the government to reconsider.


The Zone transcript: David Crosbie
Augusta-Margaret River Mail

Michael Short: David Crosbie, welcome to The Zone and thank you for your time. You are chief executive of the Community Council for Australia – and we will talk about the council presently. You are here primarily to talk about the regulatory body that was set up a few years ago, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, after a big number of studies over many years indicated the not-for-profit sector needed to be become more accountable, transparent and efficient. The other thing that you think the sector needs to do is become a little bit more robust and prominent as an advocate for itself.

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