……After years of growth upon growth, GDP per capita has turned pretty much flat in the last few years.
….In fact, GDP is not even the best measure of individual welfare. If you want to adjust for inflation and look at people’s disposable income, things are even worse.
GDP …. flat
External link, the views expressed are not necessarily those of savemedicare.org news.com.au population boom’s hidden secret
Reports emerge of “well advanced” planning for massive outsourcing of government payments with a view to making it a key feature of Treasurer Scott Morrison’s first Budget in May.
…the $50 billion-plus outsourcing would be the first time the private sector has delivered a national service subsidised by the government.
…would administer claims and payments while overseeing eligibility criteria, meaning they would require access to people’s sensitive private information.
….The Health Department 18 months ago asked for expressions of interest to deliver Medicare, PBS and Veterans Affairs payments. The three programs will dispense a combined $39 billion in 2016-17 — $22 billion in Medicare benefits and $10.5 billion in PBS subsidies.
Total payments for aged care, including home and community care programs, will be $15.8 billion this financial year.
external link The West Australian
United Nations human rights expert Alfred de Zayas called on Governments not to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) ….
“The TPP is fundamentally flawed and should not be signed or ratified unless provision is made to guarantee the regulatory space of States,”….
“Trade agreements are not ‘stand-alone’ legal regimes, but must conform with fundamental principles of international law, including transparency and accountability,” Mr. de Zayas stressed….
In his statement, the Independent Expert expressed concern that, despite “enormous opposition by civil society worldwide, twelve countries are about to sign an agreement, which is the product of secret negotiations without multi-stakeholder democratic consultation.”
“The options are not to sign the TPP as it stands, as civil society demands, or not to ratify it, which is the responsibility of democratically elected parliaments,” the expert noted. “Should the TPP ever enter into force, its compatibility with international law should be challenged before the International Court of Justice”.
“If a public referendum were held in all twelve countries concerned, it will be solidly rejected,” Mr. de Zayas stated.
Mr de Zayas is specifically concerned about the impact on human rights and his full text can be accessed via a UN web site here, external link http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=17006