More Civility

Reframing the issues of unfairness

Have specialist women’s units passed their use by date? This seems to be the message of the recent announcement that the once iconic Office of the Status of Women was to be moved from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to the Department of Family and Community Services. Minister Kay Patterson retains the title as Minister assisting the Prime Minister in this area.

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Fairness agenda takes a back seat at tax forum

This was the tax forum where the fairness agenda was lost, at least from the government side. This was shown by Wayne Swan’s apparent dismissal of the possibility of funding any welfare payment increases by cuts to the excessive tax concession to the rich

Social and gender equity way down on the tax forum agenda

There will be many men assembling tomorrow in Canberra to discuss the tax system they think we need. There are some women, almost half of the community contingent, but well below in all other categories except the ALP contingent, making maybe 50 out of 187 attendees. The gender imbalance reflects male domination in most top jobs in business and the other organisations that have most of the seats at the forum.

How can the government justify a policy that penalises working sole parents?

Late last year, the United Nations' Human Rights Council expressed its concern that moves to push sole parents onto a lower paid income support may breach our responsibilities under a number of human rights treaties.

Community has seven months to put inequality back on the agenda

We have 226 days until the election, and are hearing lots of pious statements about having time for some serious policy debate.

Welfare: government fails its social democracy obligations

This is not a Labor government budget in any serious sense. It does not take from the rich, except in very minor ways, and its redistributive tendencies are almost reversed. By talking interminably about jobs and the unemployed, the prime minister and treasurer disguise  the fact that the budget is all about the mining boom.

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