Tagged “journalism”

In 2019 inequality was a big federal election issue. Now it’s off the radar

by Josh Nicholas and Katharine Murphy

27 April 2022

But after voters rejected that agenda in 2019, Anthony Albanese overhauled both the policy and the rhetoric. Labor continues to argue government is a positive force in the lives of Australians, but now, Albanese speaks of a future where “no one is held back and no one is left behind”.

The substantive focus may have shifted since 2019, and the rhetoric may have softened, but the problem of inequality persists.

A report released in March from the Australian Council of Social Service and the University of New South Wales points out that government payments distributed during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic halved poverty and significantly reduced income inequality in this country.

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Major parties promise Queensland lion’s share of discretionary grants in bid to woo battleground state

by Sarah Martin and Nick Evershed and Josh Nicholas

10 April 2022

As the official election campaign kicked off on Sunday, with an election to be held on Saturday 21 May, Guardian Australia is tracking the funding commitments of both major parties and highlighting pork-barrelling in marginal electorates.

The breakdown by electorate of funding promises so far shows Labor has promised $756m for local projects over the same period – with more than 80% directed towards target marginal electorates, and just 2.4% promised for safe seats.

The party’s shadow treasurer, Jim Chalmers, has promised to “trim” discretionary funding programs if Labor wins office, but has not gone so far as to commit to abolishing them.

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Budget 2022 - analysis reveals Morrison government funnelling billions into must-win marginal seats

by Sarah Martin and Nick Evershed and Josh Nicholas

28 March 2022

The IA list is maintained “to ensure that public funds are directed towards projects that will deliver the best outcomes for our growing communities”, with the list prepared after “rigorous and independent analysis”.

Almost $10bn in funding spread across 120 projects was not recommended by Infrastructure Australia with the bulk of this going to projects that span multiple electorates.

The analysis also shows that of the $6.4bn that is allocated to projects within a single electorate, more than half – $3.4bn – is directed to marginal seats.

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Australian datablog Tracking Australia’s booster rollout - data shows millions of eligible Australians yet to get third Covid vaccine dose

by Josh Nicholas

16 March 2022

Australia is ranked seventh in the OECD for second doses administered, but just 22nd when it comes to boosters. Many countries have been plagued with slow and slowing booster rollouts, but Australia’s booster program began later than most OECD countries. Compounded by restricted eligibility, the booster rate in Australia is slower than many countries that have higher vaccination rates.

Experts say that declining Covid case numbers and perceptions that Omicron is not as severe may be contributing to the low takeup. Recent high case numbers may also be contributing to the sluggish rate, as some delay their next shot until after they have fully recovered from infections.

Dr Jane Frawley from the University of Technology Sydney suggests targeted messaging campaigns may be needed to encourage more Australians to get a booster. Frawley and her colleagues recently launched decision aids to help adults and parents work through their choices about getting vaccinated.

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