CANBERRA: The Australian government announced today the biggest overhaul of the nation’s unemployment services in two decades.
Kelly O’Dwyer, the minister for jobs and industrial relations, said in a media release on Wednesday that the government would make sweeping changes to the 1.3-billion-Australian dollar (920 million U.S. dollars) per year employment system, Jobactive, in the lead-up to May’s general election. Under the changes, the majority of Jobactive services will be delivered via a digital platform for both employers and job-seekers. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the new system would be more targeted to individual needs. “It’s a more flexible plan which is giving people more tools, both those helping people find jobs and help people looking for jobs,” he said in an appearance on Network Seven television. The government will also abolish the requirement that job-seekers receiving unemployment benefits apply for 20 jobs every month in order to continue receiving welfare.
While the number of applications being lodged by users will continue to be monitored, the system will also take into account whether job-seekers are engaging in volunteering, work experience opportunities or training. “Our changes are the most extensive shake-up of employment services in 20 years, empowering job seekers who are job-ready and prioritizing support for those who face the greatest barriers,” O’Dwyer said on Wednesday. “Whilst the government’s employment services system, Jobactive, has performed better than its predecessor programs and achieved strong results in getting people off welfare and into work, with almost 1.3 million job placements since July 2015, we want to see even more Australians enter meaningful, long-term work.”
Brexit: Falklands’ economy and Spanish fishermen threatened
MADRID: A no-deal Brexit would deal a severe blow to the economy of Britain’s Falkland Islands which is heavily dependent on squid exports — and to Galicia in Spain where almost all of the mollusks are sent.
Fully 94 percent of the catch, mostly squid, exported from the contested South Atlantic archipelago known to Argentina as the Malvinas and occupied by Britain since 1833, is sent to the port of Vigo in northwestern Spain, some 13,000 kilometers (8,000 miles) away.
There the processing of squid is carried out or shipped directly to other European nations. About a third of the squid eaten in continental Europe comes from the Falklands, according to the archipelago’s government.
Fishing accounts for 40 percent of the economic output of the island group which was at the heart of the two-month war between Britain and Argentina in 1982. And Galician trawlers staffed mainly with Spaniards dominate the sector.
This trade is profitable because no customs tariffs are slapped on the squid since both Britain and Spain belong to the European Union — but that would end if Britain leaves the bloc without any agreements in place about what their relationship would be in the future.
In that case, World Trade Organization (WTO) custom tariff which ranges from six to 18 percent depending on the nature of the product would apply, according to Richard Hyslop, senior policy advisor to the Falkland Islands government.
“It’s critical that we retain our tariff-free access (with the EU),” Teslyn Barkman, who is in charge of managing natural resources and Brexit related issues with the archipelago’s government, told AFP by telephone, adding it was a “life or death” issue for the Falkland’s economy.
Tokyo bourse opens modestly higher
TOKYO: The bourse opened here marginally higher today with help from a cheaper yen, but investors were cautious ahead of Easter holidays on overseas markets.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index was up 0.05 percent or 11.42 points at 22,289.39, while the broader Topix index climbed 0.09 percent or 1.48 points at 1,632.16.
Bahawalpur: FOB compiles reports for reforms
BAHAWALPUR: The Secretary, Federal Ombudsman Secretariat and National Commissioner on Children have said that the office of the Wafaqi Mohtasib had compiled reports to recommend recommendations to bring reforms to address maladministration in government departments.
Secretary, Federal Ombudsman Secretariat, Dr. Jamal Nasir and Senior Advisor/ National Commissioner For Children, Ejaz Ahmed Qureshi were addressing a news conference at the regional office of Wafaqi Mohtasib here in Bahawalpur.
They said that following the Swedish ombudsman system, the office of Ombudsman was established in Pakistan to ensure the provision of relief to people in connection with their complaints against federal government departments.
They said that during the last few years, the office of Wafaqi Mohtasib disposed of 75,000 complaints/cases. “Most of the complaints were registered against Wapda, electric companies, Sui Southern and Sui northern gas companies and National Data Registration Authority.
They said that with reviewing the registered complaints, the Federal Ombudsman Secretariat had also been compiling reports to recommend recommendations for bringing reforms in federal government departments and agencies to address the issue of maladministration and corruption.
They said that the office of Federal Ombudsman had also powers to listen to complaints against National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
They, however, said that if applications/petitions were submitted in courts against NAB and FIA, then the courts would listen to those cases and would dispose of them.
They said that the Federal Ombudsman had powers of the judge of Supreme Court and he could take suo moto notice against any federal government departments and agencies. “The Federal Ombudsman after founding negligence of officials of federal departments can recommend inquiry and other departmental actions against them,” they said.
They said that 13 offices of the Federal Ombudsman were working in the country including Bahawalpur office which could listen to complaints against federal departments and agencies lodged by people of Bahawalpur, Rahimyar Khan, Lodhran and Bahawalnagar.
They said that Bahawalpur and other neighboring districts had populations in millions, adding that but, the average number of registered complaints with the local office of the Federal Ombudsman in Bahawalpur was 100 per month. They requested the media to highlight the importance and role of Federal Ombudsman so that maximum number of people could move to the local office of Federal Ombudsman in Bahawalpur to get relief on issues and problems pertaining to federal government and departments.
Meanwhile, according to a report issued by the Federal Ombudsman Secretariat Regional Office Bahawalpur, 624 applications/complaints were registered against federal government agencies including Multan Electric Company (MEPCO), Pakistan Post Office (PPO), Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan (SLICP) and others. The Bahawalpur office of Wafaqi Mohtasib had disposed of 602 of them.