Social Capital

If Labor’s serious about fairness, it should reconsider welfare policies

One of the most obvious inconsistencies in the budget was the government’s claims for an egalitarian redistribution approach while proposing $60 per week income cut for 100,000 sole parents.

Welfare: does buying votes really work?

Will the Labor brand receive a major boost from this budget? This is doubtful as its main claim is based on its expanded cash grants.

Govt should do its own IM when looking for budget cuts

It is budget day, so how will the new Holy Cow surplus drive the political agenda? There will be cuts, but the PM assured us last week that “it will be a Labor budget, driven by Labor values and that means we will be protecting front-line services and looking after those Australians who need our support the most”.

As gap between rich and poor widens, how well-off are we?

The government is crowing about the cut in interest rates, claiming that it shows that its economic policies are paying off. It spruiks the cuts as taking care of the needs of its pet target group, “working families” who are complaining about financial stress. The opposition is making its own noises about cost-of-living pressures in the hope of scaring potential voters to rust on to its parties.

We’re hardly the nanny state when it comes to decent childcare

The Productivity Commission is an inappropriate adviser on how best to fund nannies – because many of the problems of the current child care funding model is a result of its market focus.

Abbott’s nanny state could expose kids to lesser levels of care

Asking for government funding for nannies may expose children to lesser levels of care as well as assisting more affluent women to exploit many less powerful ones. Rather than expanding this type of payment, government should fix the supply and other problems in its child care services that make access hard.

More to life and Labor policies than just getting a job

How can a Labor government promote itself as fair if it fails to take care of those excluded from the paid workforce? Even The Australian seems to be surprised at its attitude:

The reality of the gender wage gap

As long as people see the gender wage gap as normal, society has a problem. This view is illustrated in a comment by Jeremy Sammut on a Centre for Independent Studies email newsletter: “Forget that the decision is based on dodgy comparisons – why should someone with a three-year social work degree have income parity with a trained economist or scientist?”

Women lumped with thin end of retirement wedge

The ABS has again produced data that shows women are lagging badly behind men in one of the pillars of our retirement income. This is because our highly subsidised superannuation system is based on pre-retirement earnings. Over their lifetime and because they take on particular types of jobs, women earn less than men.

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