Dole link to school pres­ence

Pilbara News - - News - An­drew Til­lett

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.

Picture: Ben Crab­tree

So­cial Ser­vices Min­is­ter Christian Porter.

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