Social Capital

Let’s acknowledge Abbott’s parental leave plan is better

A campaign to stop planned cuts to sole parent payments is aiming at the government’s vulnerable underbelly in its bid for a UN Security Council seat. Harming Australia’s image may be justified.

Abbott Will Cut Deeper Than The ALP

Neither the ALP nor the Coalition are giving the voter who cares about social fairness - not just jobs and money - much to go on

Is Anyone Thinking Seriously About Welfare?

Thanks to some strategic leaks, we know Wayne Swan will announce changes to welfare tonight. They're nothing more than minor sops to calm the backbenches

Women Let Down By ALP Super Policy

Women find themselves with less superannuation than men on retirement - and in some cases none. Low-income earners often can't afford a 12 per cent contribution. How equitable is the system

When did ‘Labor values’ become John Howard’s values?

The baby bonus is gone and the record of this Labor government robbing from the poor is a profoundly disappointing one. There wasn’t much for those struggling in the federal budget

The Work That You Can't Sell

The stuff that makes good societies, communities and families tick can't always be officially valued. The problem is, welfare policies don't recognise this. Eva Cox on why income support needs an urgent rethink.

The ethical basis of a good tax system

‘Q 1.1 In considering the community’s aspirations for the type of society that Australia should become over the next two decades and beyond, which key features should inform or drive the future design of the Australian tax‑transfer system?’

Start by assuming the goodwill in others

In the last issue of Thinking Points, John Menadue urged our leaders to listen to their own ‘better angels’ when dealing with the contentious issues of asylum seekers and strangers. I want to extend this – we should not just aim to adopt this attitude to outsiders but design social and economic systems that assume the likelihood of goodwill in most of us.

Mean tests: middle class welfare or redistributive fairness?

There is a current pre-budget flurry of name calling about certain types of payments which
involves elements of gender bias and of moral panic. The term ‘middle class
welfare’ is being hurled at a comparatively small range of payments such as the
baby bonus and some family payments

Balancing the time budget

Do we really think that money is the most important thing in our lives? The treatment of most issues in the public sphere is based on that assumption: incomes, tax cuts, payments, rebates and interest rates dominate our political debates.

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