01.Low cost housing axed
In a blow to the community housing sector, the National Rent Affordability Scheme
(NRAS) is to be axed according to reports in The Australian.
The social housing project was launched by the Rudd government in 2008 to create investment in large-scale affordable housing, usually 100 or more houses, for people on low to moderate incomes in high cost areas, such as the elderly and city-based teachers and child care staff.
The NRAS incentive provides holders of properties, such as property developers, not-for-profit organisations and community housing providers, an income stream from the government upwards of $10,000 annually for 10 years, in exchange for charging tenants 20% below the local market rent.
But The Australian claims the program has been manipulated by developers hoarding incentives and on-selling them for up to $20,000 instead of building housing, while universities have been using the program to build accommodation for foreign students.
Pensioners go back to work
In a bid to avert long-term unemployment for mature workers facing a revised pension age of 70, the government will pay businesses who employ older workers up to $10,000. The Daily Telegraph
reports businesses will receive $3000 for hiring workers over 50 who have been out of work for six months or more and then a further $3000 after they’ve been in the job for a year plus another $2000 at 18 months and $2000 more at two years.
NSW electricity privatisation
The Daily Telegraph also reports the federal government will offer $5bn to the NSW state government to sell the poles and wires that make up the state electricity network, to fund Western Sydney infrastructure. Labor and unions have reportedly opposed sale of the network arguing it would increase electricity prices.