Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Small taxpayers suffer because of bad carbon tax bet.  Lifting the tax-free threshold would have greatly helped the poor

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet has confirmed the 2015 tax cut associated with the carbon trading scheme will not go ahead because of the drop in the carbon price in Europe.

Mr Combet says the Government know thinks the carbon price will not be as high as the $29 per tonne originally forecast.

He says that means there will not be a need to increase the tax free threshold as promised.

"Those tax cuts were were to be in the order of a $1.59 per week for most people earning up to $80,000 a year," he said.

"I say they're deferred, because when the carbon price rises again in the future, those tax cuts will still be implemented at that point in time.

Last month the price of carbon in Europe plunged as much as 45 per cent after the European Parliament rejected an emergency plan that would have forced companies to pay more for polluting.

Carbon permits dropped to as little as 2.63 euros ($3.34) a tonne, and German power prices for next year fell to their lowest level since 2007.

At the time Mr Combet said the upcoming budget would need to take the EU price plunge into account.


Teachers furious over the creation of new private schools in Canberra

They don't like anyone  escaping their Leftist grip

The ACT government has approved three new private schools - two Christian and one Islamic - to be built in the ACT despite vehement protests from public education groups that they threaten the viability of government schools and could "cannibalise" enrolments.

The Australian Education Union and Save Our Schools Lobby are also furious that the government has made no public announcement on the approvals despite ACT Education Minister Joy Burch giving the green light in December 2012.

Brindabella Christian College has been allowed to establish a campus at the old Charnwood High School, while the Seventh Day Adventist-run Canberra Christian College will build a school in the new Molonglo suburb of Wright, and the At Taqwa Islamic School has been approved for Gungahlin.

A spokesman for Ms Burch said the approvals could be found on the Education Directorate website and did not warrant a press release.

The union's ACT branch secretary Glenn Fowler condemned government "secrecy" surrounding the decision saying there had been high community interest in the outcome.

"The fact that vast sums of public money will be used to subsidise these private creations means that the public must be informed of the ACT government's decisions," he said.

Save Our Schools campaigner Trevor Cobbold said the the decision would draw enrolments from existing schools in Belconnen, add to excess capacity and threaten the future of some schools.

"The minister's approval of a new school in Belconnen defies all logic. It contradicts the government's own long-term policy to reduce excess school capacity in the region," he said. Both believed it was insulting to the public to approve a private school in Belconnen after the distressing closure of Flynn Primary School in 2006.

"Cannibalisation is the only possible outcome," Mr Fowler said. "This represents a significant shift in priorities and members of the public should have a genuine say as to whether this is the way they want the ACT to go."

Mr Cobbold said the new Brindabella Christian School campus in Charnwood would be within a few hundred metres of Charnwood-Dunlop Primary and St Thomas Aquinas Primary schools. Flynn Primary - just over a kilometre away - was closed despite public outcry because the government said there was over-capacity in the region.

Mr Cobbold said there was no case for another private school in Belconnen given there were nearly 2000

excess places in government schools in north-west Belconnen and projected population growth in Belconnen to 2021 was estimated at only 0.3 per cent a year, compared with the ACT average of 1.4 per cent.

But Ms Burch countered that the latest ACT school census showed North Belconnen enrolments had shown continued growth - up by 135 students this year. At Taqwa Islamic School's application indicated Belconnen or Gungahlin as potential sites, but approval has been limited to Gungahlin.

While Mr Cobbold accused the directorate of failing to adequately assess the impact on schools as required by the ACT Education Act 2004, Ms Burch said she followed the act's requirements and it provided "limited grounds" on which an application could be refused.

She invited the union and Save Our Schools to make submissions for changes to the decision-making process with respect to in-principle approvals of non-government schools. "The government's firm belief is the continued growth and community confidence in government schools is achieved through our continued investment … in quality teachers, and quality infrastructure," she said. "It is not achieved by stifling the growth of the non-government sector."


A step towards justice for Roseanne Catt

Framed by two slimeballs, one of whom was a NSW cop. Amazing that after 22 years this matter has not yet been finalized. Police as a protected species responsible, I guess. Background here

A New South Wales woman who was wrongfully jailed for ten years has won her High Court bid to seek compensation on the basis of a malicious prosecution.

Roseanne Beckett, from Wollongong, was jailed in 1991 for allegedly trying to solicit others to kill her husband, Barry Catt, as well as attempting to poison him with lithium.

The charges were quashed in a 2005 appeal, but there was never a re-trial because the New South Wales Director of Public Prosecutions decided not to pursue the matter.

Ms Beckett had tried to sue for malicious prosecution but was told she would have to prove her innocence first.

She had asked the High Court to review the law.

Speaking outside the high court a short time ago, Roseanne Beckett has expressed her relief at the decision.

"I'm over the moon, I'm numb and it's 25 years in the making, a very hard slog," she said.  "But thank God I've achieved it what people thought was the unachievable.

"It just speaks volumes to every Australian out there, if you're passionate about something just don't leave it."


Amazing: Federal Public service shrinks

Fiddled books, I suspect. Whole new bureaucracies have been created under Gillard.  But I guess they are not included

The federal public service shed more than 2,000 positions last year, the first time in a decade the bureaucracy has shrunk.

The latest Australian Public Service (APS) jobs snapshot by the Public Service Commission shows in December 2012 there were 165,598 public servants.  But six months earlier in June, there were more than 168,000 workers.

Community and Public Sector Union national secretary Nadine Flood says it is due to several rounds of government cost-cutting.  "This decline in job numbers is due to the 4 per cent efficiency dividend and other savings measures," she said.

"What's happened is that agencies have run out of easy efficiencies and now we are just seeing cuts to jobs and services."

Ms Flood fears there are more job cuts to come.  "This will be the largest fall since we saw the cuts in the late '90s and obviously we're concerned about what will happen both with next week's budget, but also with what the Coalition is proposing of much larger cuts if they win government," she said.


1 comment:

Paul said...

Are people still Public servants if they are employed by the various Statutory bodies and Corporations that Governments set up? I'm employed by a Government body but I'm not classed as a Public Servant. I think its a bit like how the unemployed get shifted onto disability support/sickness benefits etc when it becomes obvious no-one would ever employ them (be it age, or simply being a nong). Statistic shifted - problem solved.