McClure Social Welfare Reform Report Calls For Simplified Payments System

The Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews, has released a review of the social welfare system which calls for simplified system of four basic payment types.

The report, by Patrick McClure, calls for: a tiered Working Age Payment; a Disability Support Pension; an Age Pension; and a Child Payment.

Statement from the Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews.

Interim Report Proposes a Simplified Welfare System

Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews says an interim review of Australia’s welfare system has put forward a simplified payments structure with four basic payment types, among other potential reforms.

Mr Andrews said Patrick McClure AO, former CEO of Mission Australia, is carrying out an independent review of the welfare system for the Government, to identify what improvements could be made to ensure it was sustainable, simple, equitable and effective.

“Australia’s current welfare system is incredibly unwieldy, with around 20 payments and 50 supplements, which is complex to administer and difficult for individuals to access and understand,” Mr Andrews said.

“With an ageing population, we also need a system that is sustainable in the years ahead and one that encourages most people who are capable of working to work, while supporting those who need it most.

“The welfare system isn’t just about payments – the system should help people build the capacity they need to participate economically and socially, to the extent they are able.”

The report looked at working age payments and services and considered whether they support people who have the capacity to work to get a job.

It identified four main pillars of reform:

  • simpler and sustainable income suppport system
  • strengthening individual and family capability
  • engaging with employers
  • building community capacity

Among its suggestions is a system that consists of four main payments: a tiered Working Age Payment; a Disability Support Pension; an Age Pension; and a Child Payment.

“We will now have further discussions with the community and stakeholders ahead of a final report to be completed later this year.”

Statement from Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

A Message from the Prime Minister – Getting more Australians into work

For nine months, this Government has purposefully, methodically and effectively put in place our plan to build a strong and prosperous economy.

This coming week marks the start of some important new policy initiatives.

From the 1st of July, the new Work for the Dole programme starts in 18 areas across our country. This programme will cover the whole country by the 1st of July next year. Unemployed people supported by the taxpayer should give something back to the community, while at the same time boosting their skills and self-confidence. That’s why Work for the Dole is so important.

Then there’s the new Restart employment incentive to encourage businesses to employ older people because ability, not age, should be the test for employment.

There’s a new Job Commitment Bonus payment to encourage long-term unemployed young Australians to find a job and to keep it.

There will also be financial assistance for long-term unemployed people to move to take up a job.

And from this week, there’ll be new concessional Trade Support Loans available to apprentices learning a trade. This will help apprentices to complete their studies.

All of the Government’s policies are focused on getting more Australians into work – because the best form of welfare is a job.

You can find out more about our employment incentives and support at www.employment.gov.au

This week also marks the start of the new Senate.

The new Senate can help us to strengthen the economy by urgently passing the Coalition’s legislation to scrap the carbon tax.

Scrapping the carbon tax will see the average family about $550 a year better off – and it will make all our businesses more competitive.

I do look forward to working with the new Senate – because by working together we can help create more jobs and build a stronger economy for every Australian.

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