‘Climate of fear’ for renters

Jess Lenehan A fear of rent rises, evictions and blacklisting is stopping tenants asking for repairs or raising complaints, according to a new survey by CHOICE, the National Association of Tenants’ Organisations and National Shelter. The survey revealed that there is a “climate of fear” among renters....CONTINUE READING

Criminalising homelessness in Melbourne

Jess Lenehan Victoria Police and the Herald Sun have demanded changes in city by-laws, which would further reduce the rights of homeless people. On Tuesday night, they got them. Melbourne City councillors voted to allow police to confiscate, sell or destroy unattended property. Camping is already illeg...CONTINUE READING

Private schools throw away millions on fancy buildings

Jess Lenehan Private schools around the country are competing for students by pouring tens of millions of dollars into lavish buildings and upgrades. The audiovisual “imaginarium” at Carey Baptist Grammar and $20 million Artemis Centre under construction at Melbourne Girls Grammar are just two of many...CONTINUE READING

Law and order hype drives increasing prison population

Jess Lenehan The public outcry following the assault and murder of Jill Meagher in Melbourne in 2012 contributed to the Victorian prison population increasing to record levels. A new report, Victoria’s Prison Population: 2005 to 2016 , released this month by the Sentencing Advisory Council, details the...CONTINUE READING

Treatment of refugees is ‘deliberate torture’ – Amnesty

Jess Lenehan The extreme cruelty endured by refugees on Nauru is not the result of a few sadistic guards; it is a deliberate government policy, according to Amnesty International. Islands of despair , the latest report from the organisation, describes conditions in the camp. Jalil* fled religious perse...CONTINUE READING

Casualisation leaves workers without leave

Jess Lenehan Sick leave and time off for public holidays are just two of the rights slipping from the grasp of workers in Australia, as casualisation leaves fewer people with basic leave entitlements or job security, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Analysing the data, the Au...CONTINUE READING

Incomes flat or falling for two-thirds of households in advanced economies

Jess Lenehan New research from the McKinsey Global Institute has found that, in the last 10 years, wages have fallen or stagnated for nearly 70 percent of people in developed countries. If the trends continue, around half a billion people will grow up to be poorer than their parents. In some countries,...CONTINUE READING

Tax avoidance ripping off developing countries

Jess Lenehan Australian companies are ripping billions off developing countries, according to Oxfam’s “Hidden Billions” report, released this month. How do they do it? A Melbourne corporation sets up a branch in a tax haven, say Hong Kong. That branch doesn’t need much to exist legally – just a busines...CONTINUE READING

Tax rorts for the rich to continue

Jess Lenehan Every year two simple policies shelter Australia’s wealthiest people from paying an estimated $11.7 billion in taxes: negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount. Spent some money on your extensive portfolio of rental properties? Negative gearing allows you to deduct the loss from...CONTINUE READING