What could be done about inequality
By TIM COLEBATCH
from The Age online, Wednesday 24 October 2001
What could be done...
These are proposals for Australia in the next 10 years. No government could afford to introduce them overnight.
1. Adopt full employment as our prime economic goal, reduce taxes on jobs and increase places in TAFEs and training programs.
2. Restore adequate funding for Job Network, and offer intensive assistance, training and wage subsidies to all long-term unemployed.
3. End welfare poverty by raising unemployment and Austudy benefits above the poverty line by 2005. Introduce a single benefit for all adult Australians out of work, whether they are unemployed, disabled or retired.
4. Reduce poverty traps by cutting the clawback of income from unemployed people who get part-time work from 70 per cent to 50 per cent.
5. Wind back the draconian penalties for minor breaches of social security rules, making loss of benefits a last resort rather than a first resort.
6. Shift the Aboriginal debate from the past to the future, by formally apologising to the stolen generations and doubling efforts to give Aboriginal children an education that will help them find jobs.
7. Reverse the long rundown in public housing investment and collaborate with the private sector to find innovative ways to increase affordable rental housing.
8. Encourage large corporations to develop a code of corporate philanthropy and set aside part of their annual earnings for distribution to charities and community projects relevant to their business.
9. Focus tax reforms on reducing the average tax paid by Australians in the lower half of the income distribution, rather than those in the top 20per cent.
10. Finance increased spending on the poor by seeking increased revenue from the rich: close tax loopholes, crack down on tax avoidance and review the merits of new revenue sources such as taxation of wealth and large inheritances.
and some days i lie awake jsut waiting for utopia.