First Steps in Government’s Response to McClure Review
The 2015 Budget is part of the Commonwealth Government’s plan to build a strong, safe and prosperous future for all Australians.
In 2015-16, the Government will spend $154 billion on welfare, which is around 35 per cent of total Government expenditure.
Changes to policy and processes over the past three decades have made the system extremely complex, inflexible, costly to maintain and difficult to ensure compliance.
In this Budget, the Government will invest an initial $60 million to kick start the Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation that will replace the existing welfare payment system and modernise government service delivery to meet the demands of today’s digital world.
The 2015 Budget delivers over $20 million over four years towards the implementation of a new Investment Approach to welfare, focused on creating a better targeted and designed welfare system to assist people to move into work.
The Investment Approach will identify groups of people at risk of welfare dependence and will enable the Government to better target early interventions.
The Investment Approach to welfare has been proven to work in New Zealand where it has saved billions of dollars in welfare costs and reduced periods under which people are dependent on social security payments.
Key to the Investment Approach will be demonstrating that intervening and investing early helps prevent debilitating cycles of intergenerational welfare dependence. The model will identify people at risk of long-term welfare dependency to ensure early investment can get them into work and improve their long-term outcomes.
This model uses evidence, research and data to target funds towards policies that are work-focused and improve outcomes. It will examine how individuals interact with the welfare system and the characteristics of people currently receiving welfare to understand who is most likely to have an extensive reliance on welfare over their lifetime.
To support the development of a better evidence base the Government is investing $13 million to continue Department of Social Services longitudinal surveys, focusing on household, income and labour dynamics and children.
Further changes to Australia’s welfare system and McClure review recommendations continue to be considered by the Government.