keywords: Minimum Wage Review

  • AUSTRALIA

    Sympathy for the poor or bunyip aristocracy

    • Daniel Sleiman
    • 17 October 2019
    3 Comments

    Adam Smith wrote 'no society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable'. Poverty and inequality lead to non-participation in work and inhibit social mobility, which negatively affects economic growth. The concentration of economic power is bad for democracy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Budget 2019-20 and the way forward for welfare

    • Joe Zabar
    • 08 April 2019
    6 Comments

    A proposal to take decisions around welfare payments out of politicians' hands is the best way forward. If the major parties are going to put supporting the most vulnerable in the 'too hard' basket, let an independent commission determine the rates at which various welfare payments can allow people to live a dignified life.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Newstart needs a new start

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 May 2018
    12 Comments

    The Turnbull government holds the view that tax relief for companies and middle-income earners is necessary to improve the economic prosperity of Australia, offering a financial hand up to households struggling to pay their bills. For those on Newstart, though, those same increased costs of living are being all but ignored.

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  • RELIGION

    Seeking a true new start for all job seekers and workers

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 November 2017

    'We need to recommit to work for all those who are able and willing. We need to recommit to social assistance for all those who are not able. We need to ensure that a life of frugal dignity is within the grasp of all citizens.' 2017 Rerum Novarum Oration by Fr Frank Brennan SJ

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The many failures of our wild welfare regime

    • Amelia Paxman
    • 23 October 2017
    9 Comments

    Increasing the feelings of shame of being unemployed and restricting freedoms doesn't create more jobs and only grinds down a vulnerable group who are subsisting on a meagre payment. But the government is yet to show any meaningful concern over the significant risks of these draconian welfare policies.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Waiting for the trickle down effect

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 April 2017
    16 Comments

    In an age of 'budget repair', social policy risks becoming just a sidebar to economic policy which is a contest of ideas about how best to grow the size of the pie thereby providing a slice for 'the deserving poor' without having to redistribute too much of the pie, while 'the undeserving poor' drop off the edge as they would have anyway. For those of us schooled in Catholic social teaching, the so-called 'undeserving poor' are the litmus test of our commitment to the human dignity of all persons.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Swift injustice in modest penalty rates proposal

    • Fatima Measham
    • 02 March 2017
    13 Comments

    The Fair Work Commission decision on penalty rates removes any doubt that young people might have still had about their place in the economic order. The four-yearly review of awards in hospitality, fast food, retail and pharmacy found that Sunday penalty rates 'do not achieve the modern awards objective, as they do not provide a fair and relevant minimum safety net'. But whose safety net? Unfair to whom? These industries are already notorious for exploiting young workers.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'Single person household' slight on working poor

    • Brian Lawrence
    • 14 April 2015
    6 Comments

    A fair minimum wage has to be fair to workers with family responsibilities, many of whom are currently working poor and living in poverty. But in its 2014 Annual Wage Review decision, the Fair Work Commission  decided that the 'appropriate reference household for the purposes of setting minimum wages is the single person household'. This was the first time in more than a century of minimum wage setting that an industrial tribunal has decided that minimum wages should exclude the needs of the low paid with families.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    How super hurts the poor and middle income earners

    • Brian Toohey
    • 27 March 2015
    6 Comments

    Although the age pension will cost about $49 billion in 2017-18, it is means tested. In contrast, superannuation concessions are heavily biased in favour of high income earners. Both sides of politics pander to the wealthy and the cosseted finance sector, which want certainty that nothing will stand in the way of their super bonanza.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why the excluded are still waiting

    • John Falzon
    • 01 July 2014
    29 Comments

    The Government's McClure interim welfare report is predicated on the big lie that welfare is the problem and the market is the solution. The long wait of the excluded for some of the wealth and resources, for some of the hope to trickle down, is one of the most audacious con jobs in modern history. It is not misfortune. It is not a mistake. It is not the fault of the excluded. It is an attack against ordinary people who are made to bear the burden of inequality.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Whose liberty matters as Dickensian budget looms?

    • Fatima Measham
    • 07 May 2014
    16 Comments

    French economist Thomas Piketty argues that current conditions have set us on track for a return to 19th century-levels of inequality. The Commission of Audit proposals suggest that the auditors and the Government are keen to expedite this neo-Dickensian era. It's all done in the name of 'incentives' toward 'personal responsibility', but this cannot remain coherent in the face of those who will be hit hard by the proposed suite of cuts and co-payments.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Don't rob the poor to pay the rich

    • Bruce Duncan
    • 04 February 2014
    14 Comments

    The budget problems are not caused by Newstart or disability pensions, which have been declining as a proportion of economic activity. Had the Howard Government not been so generous with its tax cuts to upper and middle income groups, there would today be no budget deficit.

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