Daily News - Wednesday 23 July 2014

Posted 23 July 2014 8:04am

Lifeline overwhelmed by financial counselling requests

Lifeline has been forced to close its books for financial counselling in the Hunter due to a spike in demand at a time when there are mass job cuts in the mining sector.

Its Hunter Manager of Financial Counselling Wendy Maile says they have seen almost 250 new clients in the last six months.


‘Past it’ over 45s told to retrain
Natasha Bita, The Australian ($)

Employers regard workers as over the hill at 45, Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan said yesterday as she criticised Australia’s “deeply ageist’’ culture.

... In a speech to be delivered to the CPA Australia in Melbourne today, Ms Ryan will say there is “no point’’ in the federal government raising the pension age to 70 by 2030 without “attitudinal change’’ towards older workers.


Lifters And Leaners: The Real Welfare Bludgers
Peter Thrupp, New Matilda

Joe Hockey recently stated that Australia needed to be a nation of “lifters, not leaners”.

This thinly veiled attack on the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society is consistent with the ideology contained within the government's latest budget.


Paid parental leave, childcare: worth doing despite the economics
Peter Martin, The Age

Despite all the talk about how many more women would work if only they could afford childcare, it says the likely outcome is tiny - an extra 47,000 workers. As a point of reference, an extra 20,000 Australian women gained jobs in the past two months. The claimed one-off benefit of 47,000 workers is minute.

Remarkably, the commission says it is worth doing anyway. To pay for it, it suggests plundering the Abbott government's proposed paid parental leave scheme. It, too, promises tiny economic benefits.

But the suggested trade-off misses the point. Each scheme is worth doing in its own right. Neither is justified on the basis of economics.


Productivity Commission believes in ending the age of childcare entitlement
Michelle Grattan, The Conversation

A government giving the Productivity Commission an issue to probe should always expect that it is likely to get back more than it bargained for.

The commission, well known for both rigour and commitment to “dry” economic policies, is tough-minded and independent. It doesn’t play to political convenience.


Prime Minister Tony Abbott dismisses childcare funding advice
Judith Ireland, The Age

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has dismissed a Productivity Commission suggestion that funds be redirected away from his signature paid parental leave scheme and into childcare services, arguing the two are ''very separate issues''.

But the minister responsible for childcare, Sussan Ley, appears open to the idea of federal government-supported nannies if they were employed within the ''existing regulated system''. The Assistant Education Minister said she wanted to solve the crisis of finding childcare for shift workers, who might work beyond the time that childcare centres are open.


How to help parents return to work sooner
John Hewson, The Drum

As the Productivity Commission's draft report into childcare recognises, it's low-income earners who need the most encouragement to return to work after having a child, writes John Hewson.


Productivity Commission floats supplement idea for childcare fee hot spots
Patricia Karvelas, The Australian ($)

The Productivity Commission says there may be a need “for some supplement” for geographical areas where childcare fees are as high as $170 a day because of high land costs.

In an interview with The Australian, presiding commissioner Wendy Craik said the Productivity Commission wanted to keep the system “simple” but conceded that in areas such as central Melbourne and Sydney, childcare prices were high and parents had no choice but to pay them.

She said the PC would look at modelling how it could better reflect this price inequity faced by some families.


Good results for early learning, but the devil is in the detail
Susan Krieg, The Conversation

The recommendations of the Productivity Commission into Childcare and Early Learning appear to be a win for early childhood learning. However, as with many reports such as this, the devil is in the detail. One has to question how easy the recommendations will be to implement.


NZ - Children's 'vulnerability' like revolving door
Simon Collins, New Zealand Herald

Children's "vulnerability" is more like a revolving door than a fixed state, a new report has found.

The report from the Growing Up in New Zealand study, which is tracking 6500 children born in Auckland and the Waikato in 2009-10, says many children who were counted as "vulnerable" on the basis of 12 risk factors when their mothers were pregnant had already lost those risk factors by the time they turned 2.

Conversely, other children who did not have risk factors in pregnancy had acquired them by their second birthdays.

"We are seeing huge mobility in and out of exposure categories," said study director Dr Susan Morton.


Growing Up in New Zealand releases report on early childhood vulnerability
Growing Up in New Zealand

Routinely collected health data on pregnant women could be used in a better way to identify 'at risk' children earlier and more effectively, according to a new report from the Growing Up in New Zealand longitudinal study released today.


UK - Minimum Income Standard
Joseph Rowntree Foundation

The Minimum Income Standard (MIS) project aims to define an 'adequate' income.
It is based on what members of the public think is enough money to live on, to maintain a socially-acceptable quality of life.

The 2014 research has found that the goods and services people say are needed for this ‘adequate’ standard of living have changed relatively little since the first MIS study in 2008. However, people’s ability to afford them has declined.


The Minimum Income Standard: the wisdom of crowds?
Christopher Snowdon, Institute of Economic Affairs

Recently, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation released an updated version of its Minimum Income Standard (MIS) which looks at what modern Britons need to achieve an ‘acceptable standard of living’. It provides a useful illustration of how the cost of living has risen in recent years, with a family of four needing £40,600 a year to meet what the Guardian calls “basic needs”. This is up by 46 per cent since 2008, whereas average earnings have risen by just 9 per cent.

The cost of living crisis is real, but - and call me a tight Yorkshireman if you must - from where I’m sitting the 'needs' listed in the MIS are not so basic.


NFP Grant Applications ‘Flood’
Pro Bono News

Grant applications in the tens of thousands are expected to flood the Federal Department of Social Services as its new $800 million grants program applications close in the next 24 hours.

Peak welfare body ACOSS says it understands that a large number of Not for Profits have been impacted by the application process and the short time frame for submissions.


Social Marketplace Forum Cancelled
Pro Bono News

Financial constraints in the Not for Profit sector have resulted in the cancellation of the Social Marketplace 2014 - a forum which brings together leaders in social business.

Organisers say the event, which attracted international guests, was due to be held in Melbourne in August, and has been cancelled due to a lack of ticket sales.


Join the conversation: Civil Society National Centre for Excellence shaping up

In June, the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) was engaged by the Federal Government to conduct research and a stakeholder engagement project to provide recommendations about the establishment of the proposed Civil Society National Centre for Excellence (NCE).

The Centre for Social Impact is a collaboration of four universities – the University of New South Wales; Swinburne University of Technology; the University of Western Australia and The University of Melbourne.


Civil Society: National Centre for Excellence - Draft models report
Civil Society: National Centre for Excellence

In developing the rationale for the proposed [National Centre for Excellence], we began with elements of strongest consistency in stakeholder feedback — that the NCE should be an aggregator, network facilitator and champion/thought leader for civil society.


Packers put $200 million on table: Arts and education hit jackpot
Sam Gibbs, Generosity

The new ‘National Philanthropic Fund’ – a collaboration between the Crown Resorts Foundation and the Packer Family Foundation – comes only eight months after the announcement of a Crown Resorts Foundation $60 million Sydney Arts Fund.

... $100 million will be donated to eligible charities which support the broader community and, in particular, Indigenous education. These funds will fall under a ‘Community Partnerships and Indigenous Education Fund’. This fund will aim to “strengthen communities by providing assistance where it is needed, with a particular focus on Indigenous education.”

“Today’s announcement commits us to another decade of financial support for organisations which work tirelessly to deliver services, assistance and opportunities for people from disadvantaged backgrounds,” Crown Resorts’ chairman James Packer says.


10 things your charity needs to know about social media
Aimee Meade, The Guardian

From uncovering secret formulas and engaging ageing audiences, to trend-setting and sleep-tweeting, here are our experts' tips on social media for charities.

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