Daily News - Wednesday 20 November 2013

Posted 20 November 2013 7:42am

Fast tracking income management will be too costly with too little return
VCOSS, media release

The lack of evidence on the effectiveness of compulsory income management should serve as a warning to the Federal Government against expanding this costly program, according to the Victorian Council of Social Service, FamilyCare Shepparton and Berry Street.

Disability pension 'targeted for budget savings' in welfare reform
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian

The welfare lobby is gearing up for a huge fight on the government's proposed welfare crackdown, indicating that any slashing of the number of disability support pension recipients would be strongly resisted.

NDIS helps the common good
Moira Byrne Garton, Eureka Street

Last week, Eureka Street editor Michael Mullins commented on the Prime Minister's Business Advisory Council chairman's address to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, and cautioned the Government against listening to certain interests at the expense of the common good.

Indeed, Dr Maurice Newman's criticism of the former Government for establishing and funding programs such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme reveals an upsetting indifference toward those who shoulder the true cost of disability in Australia. Newman described the decision to commit to the NDIS as 'reckless' and implied a preference to implement a scheme such as the NDIS during a more prosperous era.

Without training the long-term unemployed haven’t got a hope
Greg Jericho, The Guardian

Long-term unemployment is perhaps the most insidious of economic diseases, and last month saw Australia’s long-term unemployment rate reach its highest level since 2004. In October, 1.15% of the labour force, or 141,600 people, had been looking for work for more than a year – the highest rate since August 2004.

Real unemployment rate masked, study finds
Clay Lucas, The Age

Australians in full-time work are doing more unpaid overtime than ever before, while the unemployed and those with a part-time job struggle to find enough to do, a new report shows.

It comes as separate federal government research shows that more than a third of the nation's mothers with children under 15 are also not in paid employment – one of the lowest in the developed world.

Hard to get a break?
The Australia Institute

While there is no single solution for a problem as diverse and deep seated as the inability of the labour market to deliver the hours of work desired by the population, there is a range of partial solutions that can both reduce the nature and extent of the mismatch and mitigate the adverse impacts.

Poor young women being ‘left behind in life’ as equality gap widens
Oliver Milman, The Guardian

Nearly half of Australia’s most disadvantaged young women aren’t involved in work or study after leaving school, despite overall rising educational achievements among girls, a government report has found.

Cheap housing need not being addressed
Cec Shevels, Newcastle Herald

We have a housing stalemate in Australia, which is the root cause of the increasing levels of homelessness across the Hunter and beyond.

The shortage of cheaper (more affordable) housing is where the problem is most acute but there is no political will to fix the problem, which has been growing steadily over the past two decades.

Morrison: Offshore Camp Can Handle A Profoundly Disabled Child
Nick Olle, The Global Mail

A profoundly disabled four-year-old Tamil asylume seeker in a Brisbane detention facility will be transferred offshore along with her father, probably to Nauru, The Global Mail has learned.

UK - Many public services are flying blind and it's not acceptable
Jonathan Breckon, The Guardian

Hand-on-heart, do you really know if your local public services are doing any good? Perhaps they are doing harm. Primum non nocere, the ethic of 'do no harm', is drilled into medics at an early stage. Could we say the same about the rest of social policy and programmes without robust evaluation and evidence?

There are many examples of good ideas that backfired. In the US, Dare, the anti–drug programme, was common-sensical: police forces tried to scare kids away from crime by showing them the grubby reality of convicted drug criminals. The result, however, was the opposite. Although widely promoted by the White House and others, the programmes turned out to increase drug use in certain areas. It was only the evaluation that flagged up the problems.

Power to persuade: reconnecting the ‘parallel universes’ of public policy
Gemma Carey and Kathy Landvogt

When taking up the role of Executive Chair at the ANU Institute of Public Policy earlier this year, former head of Treasury Dr Ken Henry lambasted academics for the inability to contribute to public policy debate. Academics are critical to furthering public policy debate, he argued, but “most have retreated to the ivory tower and become divorced from real world political debate”.

Dr Henry’s comments are part of a broader debate about the relationships between researchers, policy makers and the community sector, and how the three can come together to create better ‘evidence based policy’.

UK - The Trip Advisor approach to policymaking
Jessica Crowe, Solace

I want to start with a big caveat: the plural of anecdote is NOT data. But that's not to say anecdote is irrelevant.

Although robust data is a vital part of evidence-based policymaking, stories and experiences are also important and we need to get better at more systematically capturing and using them to inform policy and improve services.

Why are stories important? Firstly, we are human beings: we like stories, we tell stories all the time, and we use them to make sense of the world. Secondly, in our post-deference era, the views of "experts" are not enough for us: we also want to know what people like us think. This might be called the Trip Advisor approach to policymaking.

Corporate Partnerships For NFPs Announced
Pro Bono News

Two national Not for Profits have been awarded major partnerships with global enterprise application software company SAP Australia.

The Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF) and The Smith Family will receive $400,000 annually to be allocated between the Not for Profits to help them “empower Australia’s youth with innovative education programs”.

Philanthropy for Social Change - Stegley Lecture
John Spierings, Pro Bono News

Wealth created by exploitation of workers or consumers; reckless misuse or destruction of the environment; or other questionable means contributes to human misery and entrenches inequality.

Social change philanthropy embodies a belief that there can be a higher form of capitalism and better concern for humanity, one that needs to be aggressively promoted, one that facilitates the power of people affected by exploitation.

Charities wait on funding review
Michael McGowan, Newcastle Herald

Hunter charities have been left reeling by the federal government’s decision to put more than $550,000 in grants for the region on ice, pending a review.

The money is part of the $4.5million Building Multicultural Communities Program, offered to more than 400 community groups, churches and charities across Australia.

What is poverty?
A C Grayling, Prospect

In this essay, the philosopher AC Grayling disentangles the many meanings of poverty, paying particular attention to the distinction between the “absolute” and “relative” construals of the term. Both kinds of poverty should concern us, Grayling argues. They both involve “suffering, the loss of human potential, and barriers to opportunity”. Poverty, therefore, is a moral matter.

Pope Francis will not allow himself to be adopted by partisans on the Left or Right
Karl Stuebe, Catholic Herald

Something will eventually be said about abortion and gay marriage. When they are, be ready for disappointed editorials from the Left, hopeful headlines from the Right and the battle to have one side’s flag raised over St Peter’s, which has been reduced to a gambit.

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