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Thursday July 28, 2011
Tax forum an opportunity for long overdue reform of Australia’s tax and transfer system
The Australian Council of Social Service today welcomed the Federal Government release of a discussion paper for the national tax forum to be held in October, and urged the forum to be the turning point for securing a simpler, fairer and more efficient tax and transfer system.
“ACOSS is pleased the Commonwealth is taking the next step towards reform in this complex but crucial area of policy. Our taxes aren’t high by OECD standards, however they are unfair and inefficient. We need to secure the revenue stream to meet the social and economic needs of the future especially with our ageing population,” CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said.
“ACOSS has long argued for changes to make our tax and transfer system fairer, based on people’s capacity to pay. In particular, we have led the call for Government to reduce waste in our tax system through tax minimisation practices of those with the ability to pay.
“We have consistently called for the removal of shelters and loopholes from personal income tax so that income from different sources is taxed consistently and there is less scope for those on higher incomes to avoid paying tax at their marginal tax rate. The revenue raised could be used to lower tax rates and/or improve services.
“We want a fairer, simpler and more sustainable system of support for retirement incomes, including reform of tax breaks for superannuation so that low and middle income earners obtain the same benefits per dollar saved as high income earners receive.
“ACOSS would also like to see a reduction in biases in the tax system that favour speculative investment in housing and other assets and inflate home prices, which leads to cost of living pressures.
“We are pleased to see employment participation and social security included in the agenda and look forward to being part of this all important process. For many years ACOSS has been calling for a fairer social security system for people of working age that encourages employment, in which levels of payment are based on living costs and need rather than judgements about whether people are unemployed or ‘unable to work’. Our top priority must be to implement the Henry Review’s proposal to reduce the gap between pensions and unemployment payments, now $128 per week and growing every year.
“This is one of the biggest disincentive for people living on the disability pension to seek employment – the fear of being transferred to the lower Newstart Allowance. Newstart for a single adult is just $34p day which is simply inadequate to cover people’s minimum ‘decent’ living costs. We will continue to insist that the Newstart, Youth, and Sole Parenting allowances are increased to a liveable level, as recommended by the Henry Review.
“In previous submissions to government we have called for changes to raise revenue efficiently, that is tax different activities in a more consistent way to remove economically harmful biases in the tax treatment of different investments and work disincentives
“We are well aware that this will be a process and won’t happen overnight. The Commonwealth will need to bring the community with them and this inclusive tax forum should be an important stage in building consensus on real reform,” Dr Goldie said.
Media Contact: Fernando de Freitas 0419 626 155
ACOSS Papers on tax reform:
See ACOSS Budget Priority Statement 2011-12
Fernando de Freitas
Media and Communications
Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS)
m | 0419 626 155
p | (02) 9310 6209
e | fernando
Follow us on Twitter! @ACOSS
|Right now you have an historic opportunity to prove that you are serious about protecting whales. The creation of marine sanctuaries can help save these majestic creatures, but we need your help to make it happen!
The Australian government has recently released a proposal for new marine sanctuaries in Australia’s South West region, an area home to one half of the world’s whale and dolphin species and a higher level of unique marine life than the Great Barrier Reef.
But the proposal fails our whales, and other marine life.
Critical feeding areas for the endangered blue whale, the largest creature to have ever lived, are proposed to be left unprotected and subject to oil drilling and sonar blasting. In fact, of ten critical hotspots for whales, sharks and other marine life in the region, only two are proposed for protection.
However, if we all take action now before the deadline of 8 August, we can turn this decision around. Show Australia that Sea Shepherd supporters are serious about protecting whales by having your say.
It will only take a couple of minutes of your time, to enter in your details to set aside marine sanctuaries for the benefit of us all.
Fish, sharks, whales and other marine life are in imminent danger of an unprecedented and catastrophic extinction event at the hands of humankind, and are disappearing at a far faster rate than anyone had predicted, a recent study of the world’s oceans has found from the International Programme on the State of the Ocean. Overfishing, pollution, run-off of fertilisers from farming and the acidification of the seas caused by increasing carbon dioxide emissions are combining to put marine creatures in extreme danger.
One of the key ways to safeguard our oceans unique ocean life is to declare marine sanctuaries.
To find out more about why Sea Shepherd is supporting this historic opportunity for Australia to protect the great whales and set a new standard in ocean stewardship, watch our new short video and then take action.
Sea Shepherd supporters want direct action and direct results. But without marine sanctuaries there are no marine life safe havens for anyone to protect and patrol.
Together, we can ensure these areas are created.
Inside story in print – out now
The latest print edition of our partner website, Inside Story, is out this week, with articles by Anna Cristina Pertiera, Frank Bongiorno, Andrew Ford, Norman Abjorensen, Michael Jacobs, Annika Lems, Peter Whiteford and others. Canberra readers will have received a free copy of the 16-page edition with Tuesday’s Canberra Times. Outside Canberra, bookshops including Readings Carlton, Gleebooks in Sydney, Avid Reader in Brisbane and Fullers in Hobart have copies available for free.
A full list of current bookshop suppliers is here, together with details of how you can order a copy by mail: http://inside.org.au/about/inside-story-in-print/
28 July, 2011 | Opponents of a proposed privacy law are mistaken, argues Greg Barns in The Drum Unleashed.
28 July, 2011 | The Coalition’s Direct Action Policy seems designed to fail, argues Matt Grudnoff.
25 July, 2011 | In Inside Story, Michael Cornish assesses the report of the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness
28 July, 2011 | Harrowing reports of starvation and death as famine sweeps the region are a wake-up call we cannot ignore writes Ban Ki-moon
27 July, 2011 | Foreign aid is a vital supplement for many developing countries, says Harold Mitchell in the Sydney Morning Herald.
25 July, 2011 | The implications of the changes in the way China educates its people are far-reaching says Philipp Ivanov.
Australian Communications and Media Authority
27 July, 2011 | Submissions made in response to the ACMA’s draft Reconnecting the Customer inquiry report demonstrate a range of stakeholder views from industry, government, and community groups, and reinforce a need for action to improve the customer service and complaints-handling practices of Australian telecommunications providers.
Kathleen Moore | Pew Internet & American Life Project
27 July, 2011 | Fully 71% of online Americans use video-sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, up from 66% a year earlier.
Copyright Agency Limited
22 July, 2011 | This report contains the results and analysis of a survey of Copyright Agency Limited members to learn more about their views of, and experiences with digital publishing in Australia.
Australian Communications and Media Authority
26 July, 2011 | This report contains the ACMA’s preliminary findings on the causes of customer care problems in the Australian telecommunications sector and its proposals to address those causes in order to materially improve consumer outcomes.
Australian Review of Public Affairs
22 July, 2011 | This paper examines traditional economic methods of evaluation used to assess early prevention programs and outlines a new method that can be used to address these deficiencies.
Allen Consulting Group
22 July, 2011 | Examining the demand for food science and technology graduates, this survey also explores the issues facing businesses in relation to hiring, attracting and retaining FST graduates and ways to address these issues.
International Institute for Environment and Development
26 July, 2011 | Various sets of investment principles have emerged in recent years that aim to incorporate social, environmental and governance criteria into investment decisions in order to enhance the benefits and reduce the damaging effects of investment for development.
Selection and Participation in Higher Education: university selection in support of student success and diversity of participation
Richard James | Centre for the Study of Higher Education
25 July, 2011 | This paper reviews criteria and strategies in student selection and the implications of their use for equity of participation in higher education and the prospects for student success.
Francesca Beddie, John Stanwick, Penelope Curtin | National Centre for Vocational Education Research
28 July, 2011 | The main impetus for the interest in innovation is that it is seen to improve productivity at the firm level and therefore improved economic prosperity and living standards.
Nic Maclellan | Lowy Institute
25 July, 2011 | Despite recent commitments of ‘fast start’ climate funding from donors, Pacific Island governments face significant obstacles in accessing resources to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change
Climate change adaptation through land use planning and disaster management: local government perspectives from Queensland
Peter Hastings, Iraphne Childs, Bhishna Bajracharya | Pacific Rim Real Estate Society
28 July, 2011 | Climate change will manifest in altered regimes of natural hazard occurrence, and therefore can be conceptualised as a disaster management issue. Strategic land use planning is a critical tool to mitigate and adapt to hazardous events.
Ben Phillips | AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth Report, Issue 29
28 July, 2011 | Australian house prices have moved from being affordable to severely unaffordable in the last 10 years and it will take at least another 10 years of flat house prices coupled with income growth for houses to regain an affordable status.
The Climate Group
28 July, 2011 | This briefing provides an overview and analysis of the key details of the Australian Government’s recent Clean Energy Future package.
National outcome measures for early childhood development: development of indicator based reporting framework
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
25 July, 2011 | This report outlines the process of developing an indicator-based reporting framework for early childhood development, and establishes a recommended high-level set of indicators to measure progress against the ECD Outcomes Framework in the strategy.
Stephen R. Zubrick, Sophie S. Havighurst, Ann V. Sanson | Australian Review of Public Affairs
22 July, 2011 | The high prevalence of social, emotional and behavioural health problems in children, and the high cost and relative ineffectiveness of treatments to ‘cure’ them, lead to the conclusion that the most efficient and cost effective approach is to prevent them from occurring.
Collaborating with consumer and community representatives in health and medical research in Australia: results from an evaluation
Janet M. Payne | Health Research Policy and Systems
22 July, 2011 | In health and medical research, consumer participation is considered morally and ethically correct practice . It supports the advancement of accountable, open and democratic involvement of citizens in publicly funded research.
Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation
25 July, 2011 | The Extended Medicare Safety Net (EMSN) was introduced by the Australian Government in 2004 to provide financial relief for families and singles who incur high health-related out of pocket (OOP) costs.
Robert J. Donovan | Australian Review of Public Affairs
22 July, 2011 | While the public health paradigm provides a comprehensive framework for identifying target groups, it lacks a framework for the implementation of programs, particularly with respect to communicating with and persuading people to adopt recommended behaviours.
Angelita Martini | The Lowitja Institute
28 July, 2011 | This report presents findings from an analysis of the funding received by 28 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) in the 2007/2008 financial year and the reporting requirements attached to that funding.
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
28 July, 2011 | Overall stores licensing has had a positive impact on food security, argues this report.
Niyi Awofeso | Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
28 July, 2011 | Racism has major adverse impacts on the health of Indigenous Australians, and significantly hinders their access to effective health care.
Mika Aaltola, Timo Behr | The Finnish Institute of International Affairs
22 July, 2011 | As the Arab revolution spreads, the international community grapples with its causes and consequences. Are other Arab regimes likely to fold? What will replace them? And what will the long-term impact be?
Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project
25 July, 2011 | Muslim and Western publics continue to see relations between them as generally bad, with both sides holding negative stereotypes of the other.
Raspal Khosa | Australian Strategic Policy Institute
25 July, 2011 |
The Almanac, authored by Raspal Khosa, is a unique publication that brings together a wealth of information across the full-range of Defence activity in a single reference source.
Leon Aron | American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
22 July, 2011 | Russia has experienced explosive growth in the spread of the Internet and its applications. As in other authoritarian regimes, where the national media are state controlled, censored, or selfcensored, the Russian “net” has become “a shelter in the world of censorship.
Wai-Yin Wan | NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research
22 July, 2011 | This paper estimates the impact of a 10 per cent increase in arrests on the number of male and female offenders sentenced to full-time prison terms and the number of offenders given community-based supervised orders.
Stephen Howells | Department of Immigration and Citizenship
25 July, 2011 | According to this review, since 1998 there has been a growing number of non-citizens working in Australia without permission and that their presence is very often organised by intermediaries who abuse and exploit these workers.
Allan Asher | The Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Office
26 July, 2011 | The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations must improve its management and oversight of the National School Chaplaincy Program, says a new report from the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
James Whelan | Centre for Policy Development
27 July, 2011 | This report presents a summary of attitudes toward the public service drawing on a range of sources and examining the perspectives of community members, Australian politicians and public servants.
Brenton Holmes | Parliamentary Library
28 July, 2011 | Citizen participation in policymaking and service design has been debated or attempted, but too infrequently realised.
Australian Child Rights Task Force
22 July, 2011 | Despite ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, this report finds that Australia has not effectively incorporated human rights into policy and legislative frameworks to nurture and support children.
Malcolm Turnbull, Helen Stokes | Centre for Multicultural Youth
26 July, 2011 | The project has targeted young men of African backgrounds who are: disengaged (or at high risk of being disengaged) from education, training and employment; have had contact with the police; and are experiencing other difficulties with settlement.
Janet Phillips | Parliamentary Library
22 July, 2011 | The purpose of this background note is to present information (in a simplified format) that may help address some of the popular misconceptions that surround asylum issues.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
25 July, 2011 | This report presents data from the Younger People with Disability in Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) program during its first four years of operation to 2009-10.
House of Representatives, Joint Select Committee on the Christmas Island Tragedy
22 July, 2011 | This report into the December 2010 incident in which a suspected irregular entry vessel (SIEV 221) foundered on rocks at Rocky Point on Christmas Island, describes the rescue attempts and subsequent treatment of survivors.
25 July, 2011 |
The Federal Government is planning big changes to compulsory superannuation by lifting the contribution rate and introducing MySuper. But all this assumes that compulsory superannuation is a good thing in the first place.
25 July, 2011 | Every year more than 200 people in Queensland get very sick with a nasty, little understood, hard-to-treat type of bacteria. Other states report none. Why? Our water supply is now so complex, things are overlooked.
25 July, 2011 |
The Federal Government wants to introduce $10,000 fines to penalise employers who take on illegal workers.
GenerationOne 26 July, 2011 | Part-Time Campaign Assistant – Information and Public Enquiries
Research & Policy Centre 26 July, 2011 | Research OfficerLOCATION: Fitzroy HOURS: Full Time (12 months contract)DATE: July 2011 The Brotherhood of St Laurence has an exciting opening for an enthusiastic and well-qualified person to undertake high quality research and evaluation in a community setting.The position is located in the Research & Policy Centre (RPC). RPC aims to support the work of the Brotherhood through applied research to strengthen social inclusion across the life course in Australia.
Parliament of Victoria 25 July, 2011 | DEPARTMENT OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY (PUBLIC ACCOUNTS AND ESTIMATES COMMITTEE) 1 X Senior Research Officer (Economist, Portfolio Performance)
Centre for Cultural Research (CCR) 26 July, 2011 | An exciting opportunity exists for an organised and innovative Research Assistant to join the team at the Centre for Cultural Research (CCR) http://www.uws.edu.au/ccr to work on research and writing tasks crossing the fields and topics of climate change, cultural institutions (museums and science centres) and digital media
Does collaboration really change things? Civil servants, collaboration and a new approach by Sarah Schulman
|ORGANISED BY:||The Australian Centre for Social Innovation|
09 August, 2011 | Due to popular demand, ARACY is repeating the webinar from May 2011 which asked "Does collaboration really change things?"
Brotherhood of St Laurence lunchtime seminar – The changing life-course, adult ageing and social policy
|LOCATION:||67 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, Fr Tucker’s room|
|ORGANISED BY:||Professor Simon Biggs|
11 August, 2011 | Australian society is facing a situation that is historically unprecedented, for which the challenge is cultural as well as demographic. That there will be larger numbers of older adults and fewer younger ones as the 21st C progresses is becoming a commonplace anxiety for policy makers.
|LOCATION:||Aerial UTS Function Centre|
|ORGANISED BY:||Australian Communications Consumer Action Network|
07 September, 2011 | With the rollout of the National Broadband Network underway, many consumers want to know what Australia’s future will be like with universal access to high-speed broadband. What sort of services and applications in the home will telecommunications providers be able to offer their customers? What sort of education and health services can be delivered? Do we have sufficiently strong consumer protections to deal with a rapidly changing market and the proliferation of social media and cloud computing? How can we make sure no Australian gets left behind?
25 July, 2011 |
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