Media Release by The Hon Scott Morrison MP

Australian families gain government support

A new survey has highlighted the potential long-term ‘scarring’ effects on youth if they are unemployed for extended periods, Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Scott Morrison said today.

“The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey released today supports the Abbott Government’s commitment to support young people by helping them be job ready, find work and stay in a job,” Minister Morrison said. “We want to help young people realise their potential rather than spend a lifetime on welfare.

“The Abbott Government is investing $331 million in a Youth Employment Strategy which includes a transition to work programme aiming to improve education outcomes for early school leavers and provide intensive support trials for vulnerable job seekers.

“For people of working age the number of income support recipients dropped from 37.7% in 2001 to 30.6% in 2009, according to the HILDA survey.

“Beneficiary payments were so low in 2009 as a result of the strong employment growth experienced under the Howard Government.

“It is a good sign to see such a decline and to ensure this trend continues the Abbott Government is implementing measures to prevent the welfare bill from swallowing the federal budget.

“One measure includes the government’s new jobactive programme which will help link job seekers to employment opportunities in their local area.”

The report also identified that ‘people who commence on Parenting Payment on average spend less time on welfare in the five years following commencement than people who commence on unemployment benefits’.

“The Abbott Government is placing families at the top of the priority list. We have acknowledged that availability and cost of child care are the two main concerns and are addressing these through our $3.5 billion Jobs for Families child care package,” Minister Morrison said.

“The Jobs for Families package is designed to support working families through access to affordable and flexible services and the survey data supports this approach.

“The HILDA survey identified an increase in the number of children under the age of six being placed in child care while the coupled-parents went to work, lifting from 40 per cent in 2003 to 50 per cent in 2012,” Minister Morrison said.

The Federal Government provided $40 million to develop the annual HILDA survey.