Dole link to school presence
Parents could be docked welfare payments if their children wag school under a radical expansion of mutual obligation, Social Services Minister Christian Porter has flagged.
Mr Porter also ruled out increasing the dole, arguing that as few as 800 people rely long term on the base rate of $38 a day that charities and businesses say is too meagre, but has recommitted to raising the pension age to 70.
He made the comments as he unveiled an overhaul of the social security system aimed at breaking the cycle of welfare dependency for at-risk groups such as young single parents, younger carers and students.
A report for the Government warns thousands receiving these payments will be trapped on welfare. For example, 11,000 young carers are expected to access income support in 43 years over their lifetime at a cost of $5.2 billion.
The report puts the lifetime welfare bill for Australia’s current population at $4.8 trillion, while spending on social security will rise from $160 billion to $277 billion over the next decade.
Under Mr Porter’s blueprint, the Government will invest in early intervention programs targeted at vulnerable groups, including establishing a $96 million fund for not-for-profit groups and industry to develop programs to help them into jobs.
“There are simply too many instances where spending is failing to produce substantial improvement to Australian lives,” he told the National Press Club.
Mr Porter also hinted at expanding the concept of mutual obligation, such as denying the dole to people who drink too much or use illicit drugs, or tie family payments to school attendance.
Social Services Minister Christian Porter.