Aspect March 2018

Aspect Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Editorial: The Cost of Privilege

Kasy ED 4_pref

Dictionary definitions of “privilege” talk of the right or benefit that a small number have beyond the advantages available to most. Some definitions also mention power and advantage.

I would like to add the word invisible. One of the characteristics of social privilege is that it is invisible. It is often not seen by those that enjoy it. It is hard for me as a white woman to thoroughly understand the daily racism that impacts on the lives of Aboriginal people; it is not easy for a man to understand the many impacts upon women of sexism. And it is hard for those with the privilege of wealth to see and understand the extent of that privilege.

This was the idea behind our report The Cost of Privilege, launched this week. We commissioned the report from thinktank PerCapita who were excited to help us quantify our idea.

We hoped from the outset to open up a conversation about where we, as a society, spend our money.

If we don’t realise that everyone benefits from our society then it is very easy for us to succumb to the narrative that welfare payments are a burden on society. From there, it’s a short road to thinking that there is something different about those who need financial assistance in the shape of benefits or pensions. This allows us to think of them as foreign, different to us, as being “other”. It enables the stigmatisation, almost criminalisation, of those who need help. And let us not forget that many, if not most, of us will need to rely on a welfare payment at some stage in our lives.

The Cost of Privilege reminds us that everyone benefits from the taxation system. We all benefit from public roads, national defence, health and education systems - a fact that’s not often acknowledged. This report shows that even (especially) those with the highest incomes, benefit from the way in which taxes are distributed and collected.

The report identifies eight areas where taxation concessions are made and then models their use and benefit across households. It finds that in total, $68.55 billion is received by those with the top 20% of incomes, compared with $66.85 billion by the other 80%. Not surprisingly those Australians with the lowest 20% of income gained only $6.14 billion from these concessions.

The flow to the top 20% is over six times the amount spent on Newstart in the same period. Even the aged pension, the single biggest item in the federal budget is only two thirds of this amount at $44 billion every year.

We are in an environment where taxation policy is being considered piecemeal; where voters are being asked to listen to arguments about corporate tax cuts, the cost of welfare, or individual income tax cuts. We think we need a conversation about the whole tax system, which is after all a major monetary expression of what we want for our society, and which behaviours we want to encourage.

In promoting our report, we emphasised that taking advantage of these concessions is not illegal. The tax system as it is encourages people to structure their own budget to make the most of these concessions. What we want to talk about is whether it is right that these excessive tax concessions should continue going to the wealthiest Australians, at the same time as decisions are being made about balancing the budget on the back of the poorest.

It is important too to think about the intergenerational effect of these payments. They are likely to consolidate wealth. The more value there is in the property in which you live, the more you will gain from the Capital Gains Tax concession on the family home. The more money you have in superannuation, aided by generous concessions, the more you will have to pass onto your family.

We all benefit when we come together to build and share the benefits. Taxation is usually seen as a way to redistribute money and wealth, as well as encouraging certain behaviours. The Cost of Privilege makes the point that if we can afford to spend to so much keeping wealthiest Australians wealthy, then we can certainly afford to help those doing it tough.

National Office News

National Office News: The Cost of Privilege, company tax cuts, community advocacy, and more

The Cost of Privilege: Resources
Anglicare Australia has produced infographics to highlight some of the key findings of The Cost of Privilege, a report commissioned by Anglicare Australia and prepared by Per Capita. These graphics are available to download and re-post, or to share from Anglicare Australia social media accounts.

Anyone hoping for a detailed understanding of the tax breaks and concessions should also read Greg Jericho’s piece in The Guardian, which uses graphs and interactive local data.

An overview of the report is available to download from the Anglicare Australia website, along with household scenarios to illustrate how much support the wealthiest Australian households receive.

Click here to download the full report from the Anglicare Australia website.

Anglicare Australia calls for a fairer tax system after launching The Cost of Privilege
Anglicare Australia has called for urgent action on tax breaks and concessions in the next budget following the release of The Cost of Privilege.

Kasy on ABC“Research commissioned by Anglicare Australia shows that each year, a staggering $68 billion in taxpayer dollars is spent keeping the wealthiest households wealthy. That is greater than the cost of Newstart, disability support, or any other benefit,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

Following the release of the report, Kasy was interviewed on ABC News and ABC Breakfast on the morning of the report release. The report continued to be featured throughout the day on ABC News bulletins, and was also the subject of discussion on The Drum.

Anglicare Australia was featured in several national news outlets covering the story, including The Guardian, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, ABC Online, and The Australian. It was also featured in specialist outlets such as Macrobusiness and Pro Bono Australia.

The report was welcomed by Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen and Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh.

Click here to read Anglicare Australia’s media release.

Company tax cuts shelved after strong community advocacy
Anglicare Australia joined calls to drop the company tax cuts in March, along with ACOSS, St Vincent de Paul, Oxfam, and other major community organisations. As part of this alliance, we noted that the proposed company tax cuts would have been a mistake while almost 3 million people live in poverty.

IMG_1494Anglicare Australia's Kasy Chambers joined a press conference of community leaders calling for the cuts to be abandoned on 27 March at Parliament House. Treasurer Scott Morrison announced plans to shelve the cuts later that day.

Anglicare Australia’s comments on the tax cuts were covered on Nine News and in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Click here to view our call to abandon the tax cuts.

Anglicare Australia joins calls for drug law reform
Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers joined a roundtable on “The Social Impact of Australian Drug Laws” hosted by Australia21. The Forum made a joint statement calling on governments to treat drug use primarily as a health and social issue and to remove criminal sanctions for personal use and possession.

The statement also committed those who signed on to work together to improve public awareness of the negative impacts of current drug laws, and to promote the health and social benefits of drug law reform.

Anglicare Australia’s role in the forum was featured on Nine News.

Click here for more information about the forum and the statement.

Protect community advocacy: Anglicare Australia signs open letter
Anglicare Australia has signed an open letter calling for the abandonment of laws that would silence non-profits and community groups.

20180328-IMG_0285The open letter calls on the Government to abandon three proposed bills which will tie community groups up in red tape and stifle their voice. Their effects will be to alienate marginalised people from Canberra and drag resources away from services charities provide.

The letter has been signed by over 160 organisations, including some of Australia’s largest and best-respected non-profits. Anglicare Australia joined an event at Parliament House on 28 March to present the letter to political representatives.

Click here to view the open letter.

Everybody’s Home campaign launched at the National Press Club
Anglicare Australia joined the launch of the Everybody’s Home campaign, held at the National Press Club on Tuesday 20 March. The launch included an address from Professor Julian Disney and campaign spokesperson Kate Colvin.

louise prattThe campaign focuses on ending homelessness, improving rental security, funding new affordable rental houses and changing the tax settings to increase investment in affordable rentals and home ownership for new home owners.

Following the launch, Anglicare Australia met with political representatives at Parliament House to promote the campaign.

Anglicare Australia’s role in the Everybody’s Home campaign was covered in Pro Bono Australia.

Click here to sign up to the campaign.

Anglicare Network News

Anglicare Network News

IMG_4400Expressions of Interest: Anglicare contingent at the Garma Festival
Run by the Yothu Yindi Foundation, the Garma festival will take place from Friday 3 August to the Monday 6 August 2018. Anglicare representatives will again participate in the festival, with assistance of Anglicare NT.

This will be the third year in a row we have co-hosted the Anglicare group experience of Garma.  For those who don’t know, Garma is like the DAVOS of Aboriginal affairs and culture in Australia. Over 4000 people gather for four days of political and policy discussion, cultural exposure and learning on country. The site, Gulkula, set on an escarpment overlooking the sea, is a traditional ceremonial site of the Gumatj Clan who host Garma under the leadership of clan leader and National icon Galawuruy Yunipingu OAM. This year’s Garma is the 30th and it will be special.

All attendees will need to cover the cost of their attendance at the Festival, their return flights from Darwin to Nhulunbuy, and separately organise their own flights in and out of Darwin. Individual festival tickets are $2,503.60 and the return flights are pricing at $1061.00 currently. All attendees will be invoiced separately by Anglicare NT for these costs. While we have the Garma bookings as a group, we will need to provide the names by the end of May. Booking flights however is more urgent: prices go up as time goes on and flights will sell out.

To express interest in the festival, please provide your name, contact details, and whether you plan to be part of the group flights on Thursday and Monday to Samantha Billington on [email protected] (08 8985 0005).

Expressions of Interest: Anglicare Australia Reconciliation Network
Anglicare Australia has been forming a new Reconciliation Network. The network will finalise its Terms of Reference, based on draft objectives and a statement of purpose to get the group started.

Anglicare Australia is registering its first Reconciliation Action Plan, and our hope is that this group will help us with meeting that plan as well as providing insights for the whole network around some of the issues that could further reconciliation across the whole network.

Nicole Chaplin of St John’s Youth Services in Adelaide has volunteered to facilitate the network. We would love to hear from people that feel they are able to contribute.

For more information or express interest in joining the Reconciliation Network, email [email protected].

Culture eats strategy for breakfast: Clinical Care Governance Network forum
Anglicare Australia's Clinical Care Governance Network is hosting a dinner forum on Wednesday 18 April, followed by a network meeting on Thursday 19 April in Melbourne.

The dinner event will feature guest speaker Simon Corcoran of the Change Management Institute, who will explore organisational culture and culture change projects. The network meeting will include a discussion on culture change within our organisations, and a range of other topics.

Anglicare Australia’s Clinical Care Governance Network:  the network was formed from the desire to establish a dialogue across Anglicare Australia network how we manage risk and assure people we deliver high quality care and services. The network has a diverse membership mostly made up of general managers, CEOs and senior managers in development, risk, quality assurance and compliance.

To register your attendance at the dinner and the forum, contact Leanne Delaney at [email protected] and include any dietary preferences.

Brotherhood of St Laurence releases research on youth unemployment hotspots
More than one third of all unemployed people in Australia are aged 15-24, according to a new report mapping the 20 worst "hotspot" regions for youth unemployment in 2018. The data analysis finds 55 of the total of 87 regions in Australia are burdened by youth unemployment rates above 11 per cent. This stands in contrasts to the overall national unemployment rate of 5.5 per cent, which includes all age groups.

HotspotsStriking locational differences have emerged. In five regions – all outside capital cities – youth unemployment among 15 to 24 year olds in the labour force surpassed 20 per cent.

The report analyses Australian Bureau of Statistics data to find youth unemployment is at its extreme – more than 65 per cent – in a thinly populated but vast tract of land in the Queensland outback, encompassing Cape York as well as the mining centres of Mount Isa and Weipa.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence’s Executive Director, Conny Lenneberg, said the new report exposed how location was shaping opportunities for young Australians.

"In our prosperous country it’s very worrying when we have more than a quarter of a million young people in the labour force who are unemployed. Youth unemployment hotspots in outer suburbs and rural areas are carrying the heaviest burden," she said.

This story was covered by ABC News.

Click here to read more about the Brotherhood of St Laurence's research.

Anglicare Sydney Says Support Service Cuts Are Hurting Asylum Seekers
Recent changes to the Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS) for people seeking asylum in Australia are causing distress and creating further hardship, says Anglicare Sydney.

The Federal Government’s SRSS program provides income support (about 89% of Newstart allowance – just over $450 p/fortnight for a single person), case management, and other supports for those seeking a protection visa who are in financial hardship. The current changes to eligibility include possibly ceasing all SRSS support to people seeking asylum who study full-time, including English.

“It’s a month since the changes were rolled out and we are starting to see the impact on the people we support,” says Zoe Paleologos, Anglicare Research and Advocacy Officer.

“These changes are pushing an already vulnerable cohort into further hardship and limiting opportunities to build resilience and financial independence.”

Anglicare Sydney has urged the Government to withdraw these changes to SRSS. This issue has been covered in Pro Bono News and in The Australian.

Click here to read more information about the cuts.

Anglicare Social Action Research Centre will continue to fight pokies
Following the results of the recent Tasmanian election, the Anglicare Social Action and Research Centre vowed to continue to fight harm from poker machines.

r0_77_4928_2859_w1200_h678_fmax“This election has clearly demonstrated that poker machines are an issue of major concern to Tasmanians," said Meg Webb of the Social Action and Research Centre.

“An ERMS poll conducted before the election showed that the majority of those surveyed supported a policy of removing poker machines from hotels and clubs.

“Many people from across the political spectrum share our vision for pokie-free communities. Post-election we encourage Tasmanians to contact their local Members of Parliament to keep voicing those concerns.

“As we have for the past two decades, Anglicare will continue to provide evidence-based research on this issue.

“We will keep advocating for the removal of poker machines from hotels and clubs as we know too well the damage caused by having a dangerous product located in local communities.

And, as always, Anglicare – along with our colleagues in other community service organisations – will keep delivering support and help to the many individuals and families whose lives are being harmed by poker machines.”

Click here to download the results of the ERMS poll. Click here to read the full statement from the Social Action Research Centre.

Discerning the Spirit in our Practice: Chaplaincy and Parish Community Work Network Meeting
The Chaplaincy and Parish Community Work Network met in Hobart on 14-16 March. Seventeen members gathered at All Saint South Hobart for most of the session as well as visits to the Trinity Hill Youth Housing Program, Anglicare Tasmania as well as a Retreat Session led by Bishop Chris Jones at St Raphael's Church Fern Tree near Mount Wellington.

The theme of the meeting was 'Discerning the Spirit in our Practice' and included an integrated exploration of the role of our organizations in the context of the community we serve, our Christian foundations, links to spirituality and wellbeing, and where we see the work of the Spirit in the midst of our daily practice.

Notes from the meeting are available upon request from [email protected].

National Awards Profile

Awards profile: Pens Against Poverty, Anglicare NSW South, NSW West and ACT

Welcome to our series of profiles on the winners and highly commended of the Anglicare Australia 2017 National Awards for Innovation and Excellence. These profiles are featured in the 2018 Anglicare Australia Review.

ARTICLE 06 - Pens Against Poverty Group ShotAnglicare NSW South, NSW West and ACT’s Pens Against Poverty competition is an annual event which commenced in 2015 as a way of engaging school teachers and students in the ACT with issues of poverty. Pens Against Poverty was a 2017 Anglicare Australia Award Winner in the Innovation category.

The event is an opportunity for children to write for a genuine purpose. It has found to be extremely effective in promoting empathy and kindness from participants in the ways they think about and respond to the most vulnerable members of society – especially children, young people and the elderly – who are struggling with unaffordable living costs and trauma associated with poverty.

Open to all ACT students, the event is launched at the end of the second term of school and is centred around a theme. Previous themes have included “Playing Fair” and “The Other Side.”

The competition culminates with an awards ceremony on the Friday of Anti-Poverty Week held in October, and has become a key event in the ACT Anti-Poverty Week calendar generating media interest and support from other key charities and organisations across Canberra and the region.

The judges noted that Pens Against Poverty combines literacy, empathy, and justice for a truly innovative approach to raising awareness of inequality. They congratulated this program for innovation to bring about social change.

Research and Resources

New research and resources: Per Capita, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Productivity Commission, and more

CoPThe Cost of Privilege
Per Capita
Commissioned by Anglicare Australia, this report looks at the cost of tax measures that benefit the wealthiest Australians. It finds that the cost of foregone tax revenue from the richest 20% of Australians is over AU$68 billion per annum. That’s around $37 a week from every worker in the country.
The report is available here.

BSLAn unfair Australia? Mapping youth unemployment hotspots
Brotherhood of St Laurence
This report maps the 20 worst "hotspot" regions for youth unemployment in 2018. The data analysis finds 55 of the total of 87 regions in Australia are burdened by youth unemployment rates above 11 per cent. This stands in contrasts to the overall national unemployment rate of 5.5 per cent, which includes all age groups.
The final report is available here.

PCFinal Report: Reforms to Human Services
Productivity Commission
The Productivity Commission undertook this inquiry to “examine policy options that apply the principles of informed user choice, competition and contestability to the provision of human services”. It has now released its final report.
The report is available here.

ParlLibHomelessness in Australia
Parliamentary Library
This report summarises key information on homelessness from the most recent Australia census. It looks at homelessness by geography, crowding, social housing, and key homelessness figures.
The report is available here.

Government Policy and Information

New consultations and grants

Investigation into misconduct in rental affordability scheme
The Federal Government has launched an independent inquiry into complaints against housing providers in the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS). It will investigate new and existing complaints from NRAS investors and stakeholders. It will also investigate applications made by NRAS investors seeking to transfer the allocation attached to their approved rental dwelling.

Submissions have not yet opened. More information is available here.

Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill
The Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee is conducting an inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2018.

Submissions are due by 11 April 2018. More information is available here.

Closing the Gap Refresh
In December 2007, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) pledged to close key gaps in outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Specific targets were developed to reduce inequalities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life expectancy, mortality, education and employment. A seventh target to close the gap in school attendance was added in 2014. Only one of the seven national targets is on track and four will expire in 2018. This consultation will explore ways to 'refresh' the ‘refresh’ the Closing the Gap agenda.

Submissions are due by 30 April 2018. More information is available here. To provide input to Anglicare Australia’s submission, email [email protected].

Inquiry into the Accessibility and quality of mental health services in rural and remote Australia
The Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry is conducting an inquiry into accessibility and quality of mental health services in rural and remote Australia, covering issues such as workforce capacity and community attitudes.

Submissions are due by 11 May 2018. More information is available here.

Sector Events

Sector Events, March, 2018

Upcoming Anglicare Australia network meetings

The following Anglicare networks have upcoming meetings:

  • The Clinical Care Governance Network will meet Wednesday 18 April (dinner forum) and Thursday 19 April (network meeting) in Melbourne.
  • The Aged and Community Care Network will meet in Brisbane in late May, with a key focus on the end of life.

Email [email protected] for more information.

National Families Week
Registration is now open for National Families Week 2018. The Week will be held from 15 May, the United Nations International Day of Families, to 21 May 2018. Organisations, businesses and individuals are encouraged to celebrate National Families Week by planning and holding a National Families Week event. More information is available here.

GARMA Festival
Registrations have opened for the Garma festival. Run by the Yothu Yindi Foundation, the Garma festival will take place from Friday 3 August to the Monday 6 August 2018. Anglicare representatives will again participate in the festival, with assistance of Anglicare NT. To express interest in participating, or for more information, email [email protected].

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