Middle Class Welfare
Forget about middle class welfare. If the government wants to make substantial savings guided by ‘Labor values’, as the Prime Minister said this week, it should roll back upper class welfare.
More than 11 per cent of households in the top 20 per cent of the income distribution – with incomes above $115,000 – receive some form of welfare payment from Canberra, along with almost a third of households in the next 20 per cent.
Family Tax Benefit B, which is paid to households with incomes up to around $175,000 a year, is the main culprit. The quaint argument that children are the responsibility of their parents lost appeal long ago; now they are a social ‘investment’.
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Earlier this week Australia received a rude shock when, after participating for the first time in an international reading level test, a quarter of Australia’s Year 4 students failed to meet the minimum standard in reading.
The Australian reports that in some states, such as Queensland and the Northern Territory, the reading level rose to a maximum of just 30 per cent. Significantly, Australia was outranked by seventeen countered, placing us 26th out of 45 participating nations in reading levels.
Maths and science also suffered, with children from 21 countries outperforming Australian students in grade 4 science in the 2011 Trends in International Maths and Science Study. I’ve noticed that for a while now, Liberal Premiers across Australia have declared a war on education and the Arts.
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