Has the Reserve Bank got it right?

May 8, 2012


Michael O’Connor questions why the national bank took so long to cut rates.

Our economy has had 20 years of growth thanks to our resources boom. But the casualty has been other sectors of the economy, including manufacturing. The CFMEU’s national secretary Michael O’Connor tells 3Q the Reserve Bank waited too long to cut rates and should be cutting more. And he’s not alone in his criticism.

According to him, the Reserve Bank has forgotten its obligation under its Act to maintain full employment in our two-speed economy. And he says mining companies should be more accountable in their engagement with local industry by ensuring access to the huge market for mining services and infrastructure.

Why should Australia increase foreign aid?

May 8, 2012


With Treasurer Wayne Swan reaching deep to produce his promised Budget surplus, foreign aid has become one of the victims.

The Government’s long standing promise to increase aid will happen but it will be delayed for another year. Currently Australia allocates just 0.35 per cent of National Gross Income — or 35c for every $100. The change means that by 2015-16, it will increase to 50c in every dollar. It’s still a long way from the top global donor, Norway, which gives $1.10 out of every $100 of its national income to the world’s poor.

Tim O’Connor from UNICEF tells 3Q Australia rates poorly compared with the rest of the world, ranking 13th out of 23 OECD nations. The delay in increasing funding has been criticised by aid groups and according to UNICEF it will cost lives.

How will the NDIS work?

May 8, 2012


John Della Bosca says funding the NDIS will be less costly than the future expense of disability.

THE Prime Minister’s announcement to fund a National Disability Insurance Scheme has been warmly welcomed – especially by Every Australian Counts who organised the national rallies and has lobbied long and hard.

Its campaign director, John Della Bosca, tells 3Q that people with a disability have been mistreated for years. The plan to institute a Medicare-style scheme a year earlier than recommended by the Productivity Commission is the first step in correcting the inequity.

Read the key points from the inquiry.

He urges all states and territories to sign on to the NDIS.