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Australian political discussion routinely turns to the welfare system, and for good reason. Welfare spending makes up a significant portion of the Federal Government budget and governments are always under pressure to reduce spending or to find budget savings to help fund other priorities. In addition, political parties bring different values, beliefs and traditions to welfare discussions. Key tensions revolve around the role of welfare spending in the broader context of the economy, the appropriate level of payments, extent of conditionality or mutual obligation requirements, the way payments are targeted via income and assets tests, and the appropriate range of payment types (accounting for the full range of circumstances vs simplification).
The result is an ongoing cycle of reform, with each change of government bringing with it a new approach, a new review, and new reforms.
Since its inception in 1989, Jobs Australia has been a contributor to all the major welfare reform discussions and our most recent submissions and news items can be found on this page.