Final report of McClure Review into Australia’s Welfare System Released
Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Scott Morrison has today released the final report of the McClure Review of Australia’s Welfare System – A New System for Better Employment and Social Outcomes.
“I am pleased to release the final report of the McClure Review of Australia’s Welfare System. This report points to the need for a simpler welfare system that focuses on supporting getting people into work, helping those who need our assistance most while respecting the taxpayers who have to pay for it,” Minister Morrison said.
“The review was commissioned in late 2013 by then Minister for Social Services, the Hon. Kevin Andrews to examine how the welfare system could provide incentives to work, support those who are genuinely not able to work, support social and economic participation, be affordable and sustainable, easy to access and understand, and able to be delivered efficiently and effectively.
“This report, which was led by Patrick McClure AO, provides a comprehensive analysis and set of recommendations on simplification of Australia’s welfare system.
“Of the 10.1 million Australian income tax payers 8 million pay that tax so that we can fund the $150 billion welfare bill this country carries. If Australia keeps going this way, it will inevitably reach 10 out of 10 income tax payers. It is important we get that the funds we are committing to welfare payments and the system that facilitates those payments ensures that we get this support to those who need it and we respect those who have to pay for it.
“Above all, the government’s focus is to acknowledge those who need our help while respecting those who pay for it.
“One of the key recommendations is a major redesign of Australia’s welfare payment structure to address the costly, confusing and inequitable elements of our current system.
“This is a worthy goal and provides a positive vision of how our welfare system could work more effectively in the future.
“I look forward to the conversation and feedback that this and the many other proposals in the report will generate.
“There are currently around 20 different income support payments and 55 supplementary payments, which the report recommends reducing to five: Tiered Working Age Payment, Supported Living Pension, Child and Youth Payment, Carer Payment and the Age Pension.
“It suggests that each of the recommended payment types better reflects people’s circumstances, covers basic costs of living and supports those seeking employment.
“The report also examines how the system could better support people to find work, including initiatives that increase workforce participation for disadvantaged people to ensure all Australians gain the benefits of employment growth.
“The Government will consider the report’s recommendations and will make further decisions on these commencing with the 2015-16 Budget, and as part of a longer term vision of Australia’s welfare system.
“I thank Mr McClure and the other Reference Group members, Mr Wesley Aird and Ms Sally Sinclair, for their important work on the report. Its completion is the culmination of many months of hard work by the Reference Group, and includes input from an extensive consultation process” Minister Morrison said.
The review report will be available at www.dss.gov.au/welfarereview