Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Friday, 13 August 2010

The Candidates' Debate (3) (Youth Policy)

Let's have a look at Youth policy. I have four kids, all currently studying, so it's relevant for me and my family.

Candidate A -

Once again, I had enormous difficulty in finding any reference to "Youth" on this candidate's party's website.

To try to get around this, I did a page search on "youth" on the party platform page. All this generated was -
Support our youth to develop their talents, to be innovative and achieve
Support and strengthen families as the core of communities
Develop and support healthy lifestyles through individual and community-based programs
These statements are too general to mean very much, so I tried the strategy of Googling "The Party's name + Youth".

This also proved a waste of time, as it revealed lots of pages devoted to the goings on in the local youth branches of the party as well as references to candidates who have dropped clangers during the campaign.

Candidate B -

This party's website had many indirect references to "Youth" and a few direct ones.

There is reference to Family Tax Benefit initiatives -

The new maximum rate of FTB-A for 16 to 18 year olds will increase to $208 per fortnight, leading to a total amount of $6,161 per year. 1 This is the same rate as applies for 13 to 15 year olds. Other eligibility conditions for 13 to 15 will also continue to apply for these 16 to 18 year olds.

And - The Compact with Young Australians -
The Compact with Young Australians has three elements to promote skills acquisition and ensure young people are learning or earning:
• A National Youth Participation Requirement which requires all young people to participate in schooling (or an approved equivalent) to Year 10, and then participate full-time (at least 25 hours per week) in education, training or employment, or a combination of these activities, until age 17.
• An entitlement to an education or training place for 15 to 24 year olds which focuses on attaining Year 12 or equivalent qualifications so young people have the necessary qualifications required to get and keep a job and develop their careers. Entitlement places are for government-subsidised qualifications, subject to admission requirements and course availability. (For 20 to 24 year olds who already have a Year 12 or equivalent qualification, the entitlement is to a place that would result in them attaining a higher qualification than they currently hold.)
• Strengthened participation requirements for some types of income support: the focus on learning or earning also applies to those under the age of 21 who seek income support through Youth Allowance (Other) or the Family Tax Benefit (Part A): if they do not have a Year 12 or equivalent qualification, these young people need to participate in education and training full-time, or participate in part-time study or training in combination with other approved activities, usually for at least 25 hours per week, until they attain Year 12 or an equivalent Certificate Level II qualification. Examples of the types of activities that could be approved, in combination with part time study or training, include part time paid work, voluntary work or a youth transitions program. Flexible arrangements and exemptions apply to those who cannot participate in this way.

Candidate C - 
As in other policy areas, this candidate's party has a comprehensive presentation -
1. Children and young people should have access to resources and opportunities necessary for a full and healthy life.
2. Children and young people must have greater opportunities to participate in decision making affecting their lives.
3. Children and young people have a right to access appropriate services, regardless of their location.
4. Children and young people have a right to a loving and nurturing environment which is free of physical, emotional and sexual abuse, neglect, exploitation and discrimination.
5. Funding programs, service delivery and decisions regarding child protection to be consistent with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
6. Children and young people to be able to express their needs and aspirations at all levels of government, as well as in their own communities.
7. A system of regionally based, appropriately resourced and independent youth advisory committees.
8. Greater coordination in youth policy formulation.
9. A decent and secure income for young people to enable full participation in education and employment opportunities.
10. Improved education and secure, satisfying, employment opportunities for young people, including in remote, rural and regional areas.
11. Affordable, accessible and secure housing options for young people.
12. A reduction in the high rates of suicide, mental illness and obesity in children and young people.
13. properly funded services that meet the needs of children in need of care and protection
14. Support the right of people from the age of 16 years to vote.
15. Re-establish a dedicated ministry for children and youth affairs.
16. Re-establish a national youth affairs peak body with elected and representative members.
17. Increase Youth Allowance to the level of a living wage to enable young people to study full time without recourse to casual work.
18. Implement a national employment strategy for young people, with excellent labour market and training programs.
19. Develop new, and improve existing, education and preventive health programs for children and young people.
20. Adequately fund strategies to deal with youth suicide and mental health issues affecting young people.
21. Ban the advertising of junk food during children's viewing hours.
22. Conduct community awareness campaigns about the prevalence, prevention and reporting of abuse against children and young people.
23. Support and fund high quality services for child survivors of abuse and neglect.

Candidate D - 

This candidate makes no direct reference to "Youth" on his website.
It's necessary to refer to his policies on Education, to develop any understanding of his position, so I need to go back to previous posts.

Candidate E -  

The closest reference to Youth Policy that I could find on this candidate's party's website is as follows -

This party does not believe the existing child care funding system properly respects parents' child care choices. All families should have genuine choice about the type of care that best suits their needs and this choice should be affordable for all families;
This party believes the Government should give equal funding to all parents for child care, irrespective of whether they choose to put their children in child care centres or whether they choose to forgo a salary and be stay-at-home parents;
This party supports parents who want their children to be cared for by a grandparent, friend, neighbour or nanny in a family home and does not believe these parents should be discriminated against by receiving less government funding for child care;
This party supports parents returning to work if they want to. These parents should not be forced to spend a large chunk of their pay check on exorbitant child care fees so that working is hardly worthwhile for them.
This party will give all families an annual $10,000 Caring for Children Payment for each child under the age of five, The Caring for Children Payment will be in the form of a voucher which can be used to purchase necessary children's items such as
Clothing, food and nappies as well as child care services at government approved centres. The Caring for Children Payment will replace the less generous Child Care Rebate (up to $7,500 per child), which only goes to families with two working parents and who can afford exorbitant child care fees;
This party will establish a Better Access to Childcare Fund to increase the number of child care places in the community so that parents aren't forced onto lengthy waiting lists and left unable to access child care services in their local area. Existing child care centres and prospective centres will be able to apply for grant
Assistance of up $100,000 towards the capital cost of expanding or developing a childcare service facility in an area designated as having a shortage of child care places.
Candidates B, C and E have many good policies. Candidates A and D seem almost to ignore the needs of young people.
In this area, my rating is as follows -
Candidate E
Candidate B
Candidate C
The other two simply don't rate.


Boy on a bike said...

My two cents worth:

Until you are 18, you are the problem of your family. You rely on them for support and guidance. The government can get lost. The government is not your mummy and your daddy, and nor should it be.

At 18, you are old enough to vote. If you can vote, you can get off your backside and do things for yourself. You don't need a nanny state to guarantee you things or do things for you. If that is all too hard, revert to option one and continue to rely on your real mummy and daddy.

So my youth policy would be short and simple.

"Honour thy father and thy mother. Pull your finger out and get a haircut, an education and a job. Get stuck into the turps in moderation. You are starting at the bottom - get used to that idea. You won't be there for long if you work hard, be honest and take advantage of opportunities. From that point on, things will take care of themselves. If that fails, join the Army. They'll sort your sh*t out".

"If your parents are absolutely crap, work even harder at getting an education and a job and getting the hell away from them. History is replete with examples of great men and women who came from miserable backgrounds and who worked their way up through hard work and guts. Don't just sit here reading this policy - get out there and get on with it".

1735099 said...

I wouldn't argue with you - except to say that I believe that a Youth policy is a no-brainer, perhaps because as a teacher I've seen what happens to kids who don't get the support they need from their parents.
The term "Nanny-state" comes from across the Pacific, so straight up it has no meaning in the Oz context for me.
The Libertarians who go all cross-eyed about big government are most often the same people who support the ultimate in government interference - military intervention.
U.S. history, in particular, is riddled with it. I also wonder where the "nanny-state" tag fits when you apply it to the military draft, or more accurately, conscription. I'm trying to remember the political colour of the party that introduced that policy in this country. Aren't they the same party that now wants less government involvement?
In terms of my experience, my parents literally made me leave school at 15 when I had an offer of a job, because they were products of the depression. 12 months later I took myself back to school, for the first time in my life taking responsibility for my own future - best decision I ever made.

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