Thank you for your invitation to make a submission to the work of the National Commission of Audit.
A review of the scope, efficiency and functions of the Commonwealth government is timely. Australia is a relatively prosperous nation and, despite the structural shift in the fiscal position, the Commonwealth government can afford to fund the things that matter. UnitingCare Australia is committed to being an active participant in the Commission of Audit process to assist in determining priorities.
UnitingCare Australia’s energy vision is that in coming decades energy in Australia will be sustainable, adequate and affordable for all.
UnitingCare Australia welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013, the Clean Energy (Income Tax Rates and Other Amendments) Bill 2013, the Customs Tariff Amendment (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill, the Excise Tariff Amendment (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013, the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Import Levy) Amendment (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013, the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas (Manufacture Levy) Amendment (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013, the True-up Shortfall Levy (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013, and the Climate Change Authority (Abolition) Bill 2013.
UnitingCare Australia welcomes the opportunity to be involved in the public consideration process and to comment on the exposure draft of the Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal and Other Measures Bill and explanatory memorandum.
UnitingCare Australia therefore supports moves to address the fairness and efficiency of the Australian taxation system in relation to the outcomes that we seek: a fair and just society in which no one is left behind and where children get a positive start in life as part of a generous society that respects the dignity of all people at all stages of life.
We strongly support the intent of the confidentiality guideline (which ensures that all stakeholders have access to as much information as is possible to enable sound regulatory decisions to be made for network regulatory determinations.)
Uniting Care Australia again commend the AER for their commitment to consumer engagement as demonstrated particularly through the Better Regulation Program. We also recognise the outstanding contribution that staff have made in assisting to unpack a number of quite complex issues. Certainly there is a mixture of art and science that is required to deal with the issues associated with expenditure incentive regulation.
Uniting Care Australia wishes to commend the AER on the thorough work that has been undertaken in developing this guideline. We recognise the importance of high quality data that is relevant and applicable to network regulation as a basis for developing sound regulatory practice with good outcomes for businesses and for consumers.
Energy is an essential service and with increased costs has become a financial burden on growing numbers of households and consumers in Australia. Uniting Care is concerned for these people and advocates strongly for appropriate energy regulation. Anecdotal evidence from our work with communities nationally, indicates utilities are one of the top three issues facing households.
This brief submission responds to the Australian Energy Regulator’s (AER) draft guideline regarding “Shared Assets”.
UnitingCare Australia has been pleased to be involved in the Better Regulation program, of which this guideline is part.
Stewardship of our environment is a fundamental responsibility of societies both in the short-term and for the benefit of future generations. We strongly support the notion of the triple bottom line for government community and business organisations whereby economic stewardship, environmental stewardship and the nurture of citizens (social stewardship) are equally valued and reported on publicly.
UnitingCare Australia supports the improvement of the collection of financial data from aged care providers if it is carried out in an open, fair, transparent and accountable manner by governments.
The data collection should not impose significant additional administrative burdens on providers and should seek to streamline data collection where possible. As a first principle data already available to the Commonwealth should be utilised before imposing further red tape on providers.
A comprehensive cost of care study is supported but consideration should be given to constructing this in a way that minimises the workload for providers and provides timely and accurate information (such as through a 3 month sample).
Data collection must be consistent with the requirements of other bodies (the ACNC, ASIC, Accounting Standards and the Aged Care Legislation). Necessary changes are supported provided that they ultimately benefit consumer and the viability of services that support older people.