LESS WELFARE DEPENDENCY

The best form of welfare is a job.

With a stronger economy, more than 1.5 million more Australians are in jobs since September 2013.

The rate of welfare dependency is now the lowest it has been in 30 years (13.5% of working age Australians are on welfare – down from 16.5% under Labor).

The Liberal and National Government has seen the number of people on income support decrease by 333,000 in five years (between June 2014 and June 2019). Over this same period the working age population has increased by almost 1,000,000 people.

Australians believe in a fair go. Australians will always believe in a strong welfare safety net.

Equally, Australians believe in having a go.

We are delivering greater support — and expectations — for job seekers.

WORK FOR THE DOLE

Labor let Work for the Dole wither. We’ve reinvigorated it.

This year, around 69,000 Australians will participate in Work for the Dole (up from just 13,000 in 2009-10).

Nearly 75% of those who participate in Work for the Dole reported that it increased their desire to find a job. Around 30% of participants found a job within three months.

TACKLING DRUG DEPENDENCY

For those with a drug and alcohol problem, we’re changing the rules.

Under our plan, those on welfare affected by drugs and alcohol will now be required to undertake available treatment.

If it is refused, we will no longer accept drug and alcohol use as a legitimate excuse for missing a job interview or training.

We are also seeking to trial random drug tests for 5,000 new recipients of Newstart and Youth Allowance in three locations - Canterbury Bankstown (NSW), Logan (QLD) and Mandurah (WA). Unfortunately, legislation is being blocked by Labor in the Senate.

CASHLESS WELFARE CARDS

The Cashless Debit Card helps ensure vulnerable people get the basic essentials of life, such as food, housing, electricity and education, rather than gambling, alcohol or drugs.

So far, the card has been trialled in four locations - Ceduna (SA), the East Kimberley region of WA, the Goldfields region of WA and the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay region in Queensland.

In these trials, we have seen 48% of drug takers using fewer drugs, 41% of drinkers drinking less, and 48% of gamblers gambling less.

FRAUD CRACKDOWN

Since July 2016, taxpayers have saved $3.9 billion from a crackdown on welfare fraud and non-compliance.

Centrelink conducts a number of compliance activities that are designed to detect if people receive payments they shouldn’t, and help people avoid accumulating debt.

BETTER COMPLIANCE

The majority of job-seekers do the right thing by actively looking for work.

However, a minority do not and have avoided penalties because Labor’s legislation allows penalties to be easily waived.

We are introducing a clear and fair system of compliance.

We are also introducing a stronger relationship verification process to ensure people only receive payments they should.

HELPING PARENTS GET OFF WELFARE

A new program called ParentsNext is helping disadvantaged parents break the cycle of dependency.

A SIMPLER SYSTEM

From March 2020, the Government will introduce a new, single JobSeeker Payment, which will replace or consolidate seven existing payments.

A simpler system means less money is spent on red tape.

Information current as at February 2020