Media Release by The Hon Christian Porter MP

ACOSS sticks to ideology over facts – and protection of children

“The Australian Council of Social Services appears to have lost any sense of perspective and, with it, lost considerable credibility in the debate over welfare reform,” Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, said today.

“ACOSS’s claim that the Turnbull Government’s No Jab, No Pay policy is an ‘attack on people receiving welfare’ as it has tweeted today, is one of the most stupid things I have heard. And they’ve compounded that by re-tweeting a bizarre claim that No Jab, No Pay is ‘tantamount to physical assault.’

“No Jab, No Pay has been an outstanding success with about 210,000 families acting to meet immunisation requirements since January 2016 and immunisation rates across all age groups rising.

“How can making sure children and the wider community is protected from insidious, horrific and potentially lethal disease be an ‘attack on peoples’ rights?'”

“ACOSS, in sticking to an old, ideological agenda, even in the face of clear outcomes showing improved wellbeing, risks dealing itself out of sensible discussion.

“No Jab, No Pay shows that the welfare system can be used to drive change and produce outcomes that protect and improve individual’s lives and the whole community.

“I am proud to be part of a Government that is moving away from an old-fashioned and totally unsustainable welfare system in which billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money is simply pushed out the door with little focus on the requirements placed on those receiving payments.

“Our community was experiencing declining immunisation rates. A simple, but effective, policy approach to link payments from taxpayers to in return for child care subsidies and family payments is working to improve outcomes for Aussie kids.

“Similarly, we will continue to require job seekers do the right thing in return for their payments – as most currently. Our Welfare Reform Bill before Parliament will do just that through stronger participation and compliance requirements – and ensuring people with drug issues are identified and assisted through our drug testing trials.”