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Consumer Cash Usage: A Cross-Country Comparison with Payment Diary Survey Data

January 6, 2015 Comments off

Consumer Cash Usage: A Cross-Country Comparison with Payment Diary Survey Data
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

We measure consumers’ use of cash by harmonizing payment diary surveys from seven countries. The seven diary surveys were conducted in 2009 (Canada), 2010 (Australia), 2011 (Austria, France, Germany, and the Netherlands), and 2012 (the United States). Our paper finds cross-country differences — for example, the level of cash use differs across countries. Cash has not disappeared as a payment instrument, especially for low-value transactions. We also find that the use of cash is strongly correlated with transaction size, demographics, and point-of-sale characteristics such as merchant card acceptance and venue.

AU — Characteristics of people using mental health services and prescription medication, 2011

December 30, 2014 Comments off

Characteristics of people using mental health services and prescription medication, 2011
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Good mental health is a crucial aspect of good general health, and underpins a productive and inclusive society. Mental health and illness result from the complex interplay of biological, social, psychological, environmental and economic factors at all levels (Endnote 2).

The information in this publication relates to people who actually accessed either an MBS mental health-related service or a PBS subsidised medication in 2011. (For more information, please refer to the Explanatory Notes). As the following graph shows, the age structure of these two groups was quite different.

Australia’s foreign debt: a quick guide

December 27, 2014 Comments off

Australia’s foreign debt: a quick guide
Source: Parliamentary Library of Australia

This quick guide looks at the level of Australia’s foreign debt, the interest liability on foreign debt and how these have changed over time. It also looks at foreign debt as a component of net foreign investment, the other component being equity investment. Finally, given that Australia’s gross foreign debt is now bigger than its annual gross domestic product (GDP), the quick guide also considers whether our foreign debt level is too high.

AU — Work-Related Injuries, Australia, JUL 2013 TO JUN 2014

December 4, 2014 Comments off

Work-Related Injuries, Australia, JUL 2013 TO JUN 2014
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Of the 12.5 million persons who had worked at some time in the last 12 months, 4.3% first experienced their most recent work-related injury or illness during that same period1. The majority (85%) of the 531,800 persons who experienced a work-related injury or illness continued to work in the job where their injury or illness occurred. Approximately 7% had changed jobs and the remaining 8% were not employed in the reference week .

More than half the persons who experienced a work-related injury or illness were males (61%). In 2013-14, 4.9% of males who worked in the last 12 months experienced a work-related injury or illness, down from 5.5% in 2009-10. The proportion of females who experienced a work-related injury or illness in the last 12 months was 3.6%, down from 5.1% in 2009-10.

The occupation groups with the highest rates of people who experienced a work-related injury or illness were ‘Machinery operators and drivers’ (88 per 1,000 employed persons), ‘Community and personal service workers’ (73 per 1,000 employed persons), ‘Technicians and trades workers’ (72 per 1,000 employed persons) and ‘Labourers’ (66 per 1000 employed persons)

AU — Online shopping and potential changes to the low value threshold: costs and benefits for government, consumers and retailers

November 25, 2014 Comments off

Online shopping and potential changes to the low value threshold: costs and benefits for government, consumers and retailers
Source: Parliamentary Library of Australia

Australians spent $15.7 billion in the year to August 2014 buying online from both international and Australian retailers. Online shopping by Australians has increased over time, and is likely to continue doing so. A significant portion of Australian purchases online are from Australian retailers.

International Survey Of Older Adults Finds Shortcomings In Access, Coordination, And Patient-Centered Care

November 20, 2014 Comments off

International Survey Of Older Adults Finds Shortcomings In Access, Coordination, And Patient-Centered Care
Source: Health Affairs

Industrialized nations face the common challenge of caring for aging populations, with rising rates of chronic disease and disability. Our 2014 computer-assisted telephone survey of the health and care experiences among 15,617 adults age sixty-five or older in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States has found that US older adults were sicker than their counterparts abroad. Out-of-pocket expenses posed greater problems in the United States than elsewhere. Accessing primary care and avoiding the emergency department tended to be more difficult in the United States, Canada, and Sweden than in other surveyed countries. One-fifth or more of older adults reported receiving uncoordinated care in all countries except France. US respondents were among the most likely to have discussed health-promoting behaviors with a clinician, to have a chronic care plan tailored to their daily life, and to have engaged in end-of-life care planning. Finally, in half of the countries, one-fifth or more of chronically ill adults were caregivers themselves.

Australian Government Assistance to refugees: fact versus fiction

November 17, 2014 Comments off

Australian Government Assistance to refugees: fact versus fiction
Source: Parliamentary Library of Australia

Introduction In recent years a series of emails have been widely circulated throughout Australia claiming to describe the social security entitlements of refugees compared with those of other Australian residents. A common claim in these emails is that refugees in Australia receive higher social security benefits than age pensioners. Some also suggest that refugees receive free gifts such as houses. Claims of this kind are erroneous and appear to have caused some confusion in the community. They are often brought to the attention of senators and members by their constituents.

This Research Paper describes the current situation with regard to refugee entitlements to social security and other assistance in order to clarify this issue.

The assistance to refugees and asylum seekers described in this Research Paper is longstanding and has bi-partisan support. Such support is consistent with the overall obligation and commitment by Australia to provide protection for refugees and resolve refugee situations.

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