Daily News - Wednesday 10 December 2014

Posted 10 December 2014 8:00am

Young Australians set to pay for government policy mistakes
Danielle Wood and John Daley, The Conversation

Having enjoyed continuously increasing prosperity since the Second World War, Australians have come to expect that each generation will live a better life than the last. But this steady progress may be at risk. As shown in Grattan Institute’s latest report The wealth of generations, today’s young Australians may end up with lower living standards than their parents at the same age.

Young Australians will bear the costs of fiscal decisions made by past and present governments. The cost of rising government spending on older households and repaying government debt will fall most heavily on today’s young.


The wealth of generations
John Daley and Danielle Wood, Grattan Institute

In the past, each generation took out more from the budget over its lifetime than it put in. This “generational bargain” was sustainable when incomes rose quickly – the norm for 70 years.

The generational bargain is at risk because government transfers from younger to older cohorts are now so large that future budgets may not be able to afford them, and incomes may rise more slowly over coming decades. If so, the last two decades in the United States and Britain illustrate the potential outcomes. The wealth and incomes of younger age groups in these countries have fallen well behind those of their parents at a similar age.


Abetz says jobless need to 'try even harder'
Adam Holmes, Bendigo Advertiser

Federal Employment Minister Eric Abetz says unemployed people just need to "try even harder" to find work as Bendigo faces one of regional Victoria's highest youth unemployment rates.

The Senator visited Bendigo on Monday, meeting with three local manufacturing businesses and the offices of Sureway Employment and Training.

Senator Abetz said his philosophy on job creation was "where there's a will, there's a way".


Employment agency sees positives
Adam Holmes, Bendigo Advertiser

An employment firm in Bendigo believes the Federal Government is doing the right thing by jobseekers and employers.

As Federal Employment Minister Eric Abetz met with staff at Sureway Employment and Training in Bendigo on Monday, company CEO David Galloway said some changes had "simplified" the process with job agencies.

"One of the positive things the government has done has been to reduce red tape in employment services," he said.


Black Australia Would Be 'Essentially Free Labour' Under Work-For-The-Dole Changes
Amy McQuire, New Matilda

Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory will be working for around $5 cash an hour under changes to a remote work-for-the-dole scheme, bringing back memories of the old ‘work for rations’ days.

The Abbott government has announced changes to the Remote Jobs and Community Program (RJCP), which replaced the Aboriginal-controlled Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) after it was scrapped by the Howard government.

It will put tougher requirements on welfare recipients in remote areas, who are already working for the dole, and where the scrapping of CDEP has had disastrous consequences.


Aboriginal people are entitled to be treated as human beings, not just as a fiscal problem
Melissa Parke, The Guardian

Before last year’s federal election, Tony Abbott promised he would be “a prime minister for Aboriginal affairs. The first I imagine that we have ever had.” The Coalition also promised to “continue the current level of funding expended on Closing the Gap activities.” Instead, the first budget of the Abbott government cut $500m directly from Indigenous affairs.

Unfortunately, these cuts are being reflected in cuts to services by the WA state government, including the proposed closure of approximately 150 Aboriginal communities in remote Western Australia. When premier Colin Barnett announced the intention to push Indigenous Western Australians out of their homes and dissolve their communities, it was a shot across the bows of a federal government that intends to withdraw two-thirds of the funding to those communities as it sails away from its traditional responsibilities in a number of areas.


Indigenous women from around the world trying to tackle domestic violence
Bridget Brennan, PM, ABC

For the first time in Australia, Indigenous women from around the world are meeting this week, to talk about domestic violence in their communities.

The shocking rates of domestic violence in Aboriginal families, is mirrored in communities in New Zealand and North America.

A Global Indigenous Domestic Violence conference in Cairns has heard that Indigenous victims won't speak up, unless support services are run by their own people.


Adoption rates at record low, says Institute of Health and Welfare
Rick Morton, The Australian ($)

The rate of adoptions in Australia sank to the lowest on record in the past financial year, driven by policy uncertainty and an ­increase in other arrangements.

An Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report shows just 317 cases were finalised, a fall of 9 per cent on 2012-13 and a 76 per cent reduction on the 1294 ­recorded at the end of the 1980s.

While Australia maintained a program with 14 countries, the number of children adopted from overseas continued to decline, from 129 to 114.


Adoptions Australia 2013-14

Adoptions Australia 2013–14, the 24th report in the series, presents the latest data on adoptions of Australian children and children from overseas, and highlights important trends in the number of adoptions back to 1989–90. Data cover characteristics of adopted children, their parents and adoptive families, as well as applications and vetoes for contact and information exchange, and intercountry adoption processing times. During 2013–14, 317 adoptions were finalised across Australia. Among these adoptions: –64% were children from Australia and 36% were from overseas –28% were by carers, such as foster parents –32% of adoptees came from Asia –45% of adoptees were aged under 5.


The ‘Stressful’ State of the Disability Sector - Report
Lina Caneva, Pro Bono News

Australia’s disability sector is dysfunctional, and transforming it is complicated, arduous and stressful with the National Disability Insurance Scheme currently "immersed in problem-solving", according to a new sector report.

Called the State of the Disability Sector, the report was launched by National Disability Services, the peak industry body for non-Government disability services at a national CEO conference in Melbourne which hosted 550 sector leaders.


Social Lens for Financial Inquiry’s Final Report
Pro Bono News

The final report of the the Financial Systems Inquiry has advised the Federal Government to explore and develop impact investment as an innovative way of potentially funding social service delivery in Australia.

The report recommends the Government approach impact investing, where investments generate both financial and social or environmental reforms, with a focus on superannuation and law reform.



Kevin Andrews moves early to cement staying power
Dennis Shanahan, The Australian ($)

Kevin Andrews, the most senior Victorian in the Abbott cabinet, has told his local Liberal Party branch he will be seeking their support to “go again” at the 2016 election as part of a bid to kill speculation he is to be replaced by Tony Abbott’s chief-of-staff Peta Credlin.

The Family Services Minister, one of the most experienced in the Coalition cabinet, has sought endorsement from his electorate council “earlier than usual” as a sign of his determination to stay on.


Vatican asks for wide input on 2015 synod, not based on doctrine
Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

For the second time in two years, the Vatican has asked national bishops' conferences around the world to seek input from Catholics at "all levels" about how the church should respond to sometimes difficult questions of modern family life, such as divorce and remarriage.

Issuing a document in preparation for a second worldwide meeting of Catholic bishops on family life next year, the Vatican has also stressed the need for mercy in responding to such difficult situations -- even asking the bishops to avoid basing their pastoral care solely on current Catholic doctrine.


Pope decries 'material slavery' as holidays start
Associated Press

Pope Francis is praying that humanity be free of any “slavery” to material things as he visited Rome’s swank shopping area near the Spanish Steps.

Shoppers crowded into the square Monday to see Francis keep an annual appointment that marks the Dec. 8 Catholic feast day honoring the Virgin Mary and the traditional start of the city’s holiday shopping season.

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