Thursday, May 10, 2012

Another broken promise

BUSINESS leaders have blasted Labor for welching on its reform promises after a shock budget decision to abandon tax cuts for 770,000 companies cast new doubt on the Gillard government's commitment to live up to its vows.

Company executives rounded on the government yesterday for failing to use the budget to tackle the nation's biggest economic challenges and embarking instead on handouts to Labor's political heartland.


You pay $100 a week to keep people on welfare

The average single worker is now paying more than $5000 a year in tax - or nearly $100 a week - to fund the nation's growing welfare budget.

And a bigger tax slice of the weekly paypacket is going towards paying the interest bill on the nation's record $143 billion net debt.

An analysis of the Federal Budget by the Tax Institute reveals that about 35c in every dollar collected by the taxman from the average worker pays for the welfare of others, up from 33.3c.

Tuesday's Budget papers show the welfare and social security budget will leap by $4.8 billion to $131.6 billion.

The big winners from this cash splash in Treasurer Wayne Swan's so-called "battlers' budget" are low- and middle-income families.

A single person on the average wage of $69,000 will get a tax cut of $373, but still pay about $14,557 in tax.

Their share of the welfare bill is up by $118 to $5093 and their contribution to the interest on the nation's debt rises by $46 to $270.

But a smaller share of their tax is going towards health, education, the states, defence and transport.

The Tax Institute analysis shows about $2360 goes to health, $1144 to education, $834 for defence, $193 for foreign aid and $46 - around 13c a day - to the ABC.

The typical worker cheering for Australia's athletes at the London Olympics has contributed about 3c a day through the taxes they pay.

The study shows that a family on $99,000 with two children (dad working full-time earning $69,000 and mum on a part-time wage of $30,000) and no child care costs, will be $679 a year better off from tax and welfare changes.

They receive $5046 in benefits such as the private health insurance rebate, family tax benefit and the schoolkids bonus - which passed through Parliament last night. But the family pays $4427 towards the welfare budget.

A family on $150,000 (dad $90,000 and mum $60,000) and using child care, will be $1331 better off than last year.

They get $12,150 in benefits and pay $7634 through their tax towards welfare.

But a family on $200,000 (mum $120,000, dad $80,000) gets $11,550 in welfare - mostly from the child care rebate - but pays $14,466 through their tax for welfare. Overall, their gain from the Budget is just $6 a year.

Senior tax counsel at the Tax Institute Robert Jeremenko last night said the analysis showed the complexity of the tax system and the "welfare-tax churn".

"One person's tax is another person's handout," Mr Jeremenko said.


In hiring, bosses  tend to look for people with a similar cultural background

It makes understanding one-another so much easier. The importance of common culture is well documented in personal relationships and business relationships can be very  involving too

Who would you most probably give a job to: Lisa Johnson, Andrew Robinson, Ping Huang or Hassan Baghdadi?  Odds are in Canberra Lisa and Andrew will be interviewed, regardless of their suitability for the job.

Ping and Hassan will need to send out twice as many job applications before they'll see an employer.

Canberra business consultant Peter Gordon is stunned at how often bright young job seekers are overlooked because of their non-Anglo sounding names in a city with a skills crisis.

He said hundreds of thousands of international students propped up the budgets of Australian universities and in Canberra more than 10,000 of them contributed $300 million annually to the ACT economy.  Their money was eagerly welcomed, but not their offer of skills in the workforce, said Mr Gordon, a director of Economic Futures Australia.

"I met this bloke, a charming Pakistani who had worked for the last seven years in the Middle East. English brilliant, charming, good looking, in his 30s, with his wife, sponsored here by the ACT government under a skilled migration program, with excellent information technology qualifications," Mr Gordon said.

The man applied for a job at his appropriate level, could not get an interview and dropped to entry level applications, only to be told he was over-qualified. Not being a permanent resident ruled him out of the Commonwealth public service, as well as major firms providing goods and services to the government.

Australian National University researchers sent out 4000 fictional applications in 2009 for entry-level jobs in major cities and found people with Chinese and Middle Eastern names needed to submit up to 68 per cent more applications to secure an interview.

Mr Gordon said despite the government's best efforts, he had long been frustrated by the lack of interest among ACT businesses in available talent from overseas.

"I would hesitate using the word racism but I think it is a complete lack of understanding of what it means to be a person with a different background in Canberra. We are ignoring a real, and vital and economic opportunity on our doorstep. It really is incredible."


Obama's support for same-sex marriage fails to sway Julia Gillard's stance

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard says she remains opposed to gay marriage despite US President Barack Obama's change of heart.

Mr Obama, who faces an election in November in a religiously conservative electorate, is the first sitting US president to endorse same-sex equality.  "At a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married," Mr Obama told ABC's Robin Roberts in a television interview at the White House.

Ms Gillard, who isn't likely to face Australian voters until late 2013, said she was still opposed to gay marriage.

"I've made my position clear and that's the position I'll take into the parliament when ultimately the Bill that has been moved by Stephen Jones, one of the Labor members of our team, comes before the parliament," she told ABC Radio today.

Marriage is a state issue in the US whereas it is covered by federal law in Australia. Inquiries are being held into two separate lower house Bills in favour of gay marriage.


1 comment:

Paul said...

"when ultimately the Bill that has been moved by Stephen Jones, one of the Labor members of our team, comes before the parliament"

Also known as Having a bet each way.