Filter by May, 2012

Do alcohol health warning labels work?

 On 24 May the House of Representatives Social Policy and Legal Affairs Committee is to hold a roundtable with alcohol industry representatives, through which it will canvass their views on health warning labels on alcohol containers, including specific warnings for pregnant women. On 31 May, the Committee will hold a similar hearing with public health and alcohol and drug non-government organisations. The Committee is also currently conducting an inquiry into the incidence and prevention of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder.The hearings are being held in a context in which the Government has recently committed to certain alcohol labelling reforms in response to the recommendations of the I... Read more...

Korea passes ETS but details are hazy

Legislation for a mandatory greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme (ETS) has passed South Korea's unicameral National Assembly with bipartisan support. However, many important details have still to be finalised. This FlagPost provides a summary of the Korean scheme with a little bit of background.  With a planned start date of 1 January 2015, the Korean ETS is expected to cover at least 450 entities and about 60 per cent of national greenhouse gas emissions. All industries and buildings are included in the scheme and must participate if their annual emissions exceed the annual emissions threshold for liability. The threshold has been set at 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, which... Read more...

Fuel tax credits: are they a subsidy to fuel use?

Recently there has been debate over the nature of the rebate of the excise paid on fuels, paid under the fuel tax credits scheme. This FlagPost clarifies the purpose of the rebate.The excise on petrol and diesel is a tax on business inputs as well as on final use by households. Businesses using petrol and diesel as inputs into production processes pay excise of 38.143 cents per litre. Under the fuel tax credits scheme, eligible businesses can claim a rebate—in full or in part—of the excise that they have paid. In 2010-11, the value of these credits amounted to $5.1 billion. The main recipient industries were mining ($2.031 billion), transport, postal and warehousing ($988 million), and ag... Read more...

Changes to community care

The Government has announced a significant expansion in community aged care as part of its Living Longer Living Better aged care reform package. All existing community aged care packages (Home and Community Care Program, Community Aged Care Packages, Extended Aged Care at Home, Extended Aged Care at Home – Dementia and some smaller programs) will be consolidated into a single program known as ‘Home Care’ packages. The overall number of these home care packages will increase from 59 876 to almost 100 000 by 2016–17.Changes will also be made to the payment arrangements for community aged care. From 1 July 2014, older Australians may be asked to contribute to the costs of their care via a Care ... Read more...

Paying for aged care - should the family home be counted?

The Government’s Living Longer. Living Better package represents a new way of paying for aged care in Australia. From 1 July 2014, means tested co-payments, annual and lifetime limits for care costs and accommodation bonds for all aged care residents will be introduced. For further detail of the package see here. One of the long running debates in the financing of aged care in Australia is the treatment of the family home and whether is should be included in any asset or mean-testing calculations when individuals access publicly funded aged care. In its recent report to the Government, the Productivity Commission (PC) put forward two recommendations (7.3 and 8.1) that would draw on the value... Read more...

Is income management working?

    Much of the debate surrounding income management of welfare payments has related to the question of evidence. That is, is there evidence to justify the policy? Alternatively, is there evidence of policy failure or harmful consequences arising from income management? In other words, is income management working?Income management (also known as ‘welfare quarantining’) refers to a policy under which a percentage of the welfare payments of certain people are set aside to be spent only on ‘priority goods and services’ such as food, housing, clothing, education and health care. Introduced by the Howard Government in 2007, income management has been criticised by some as paternalist a... Read more...


Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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