Better management of Australia’s social services will support continued record investment in social welfare and other assistance.
We are committed to supporting those who are most at risk in our in our community and we have delivered on significant commitments to strengthen Australia’s social welfare system.
We are rolling out the National Disability Insurance Scheme across Australia on time and on budget and ensuring that it is fully funded.
We are implementing a $100 million Women’s Safety Package to protect women and children at high risk of experiencing domestic and family violence.
The Coalition is also providing almost $40 billion over the next four years to help Australian families with the cost of child care and early learning, targeting low income working families.
Australia currently spends around $160 billion a year on social services and welfare, which represent more than 80 per cent of all the personal income tax collected in Australia.
At any one time, there is around $3.5 billion of debt to the Commonwealth due to fraud, non-compliance or misreporting in the welfare system.
Welfare spending is currently projected to increase to over $190 billion by 2019-20 and to over $270 billion by 2025-26.
Through the smarter use of technology, we can better manage our social welfare system to ensure that every dollar goes to those who need it most.
Our existing integrity measures are successfully identifying and recovering fraud and overpayments, and we will build on these.
A re-elected Coalition Government will:
- enhance the integrity and compliance of social welfare payments through improved employment income and non-employment income data matching;
- improve engagement with welfare recipients to better ensure they meet their obligations before problems arise;
- ensure welfare recipients accurately disclose assets and investments; and
- improve the capability for the identification and recovery of debt owed to taxpayers.
The vast majority of Australian welfare recipients do the right thing.
Some welfare recipients make genuine mistakes in the information they supply to the government, which can result in reduced or cancelled payments.
Better management will make it simpler and less time consuming for welfare recipients to meet their obligations.
These reforms will cut red tape and ensure that mistakes are minimised so that recipients who are doing the right thing are not adversely affected or inconvenienced.
These measures will also better target fraud in our social welfare system. We will better manage the welfare system to ensure we prevent, detect and deter fraud and non-compliance.
No one who genuinely needs social welfare support and who is honestly disclosing their employment income and non-employment income will be worse-off under our commitment.
Together these better management reforms will improve the Budget by $2 billion.