Media Release by Hon Kevin Andrews MP

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.”

To view the report and for more information, go to