Media Release by The Hon Dan Tehan MP

Combatting intergenerational welfare

The Turnbull Government is tackling intergenerational welfare dependency in at-risk groups and helping more people off welfare and into work.

Minister for Social Services Dan Tehan said new data released today revealed a reduction in the number of people accessing welfare payments had led to a $43 billion decrease in Australia’s total future lifetime welfare cost.

Mr Tehan said the data also revealed that children who grow up in unemployed households can face a lifetime of disadvantage.

“The Turnbull Government is helping people off welfare and into work,” Mr Tehan said.

“We want to break the cycle of intergenerational welfare dependency through reforms to the welfare system and innovations like the Cashless Debit Card and the Try, Test and Learn Fund.

“The economy is creating 1,100 jobs a day, so we have the best chance in decades to break the cycle of welfare dependency and save this lost generation.

“After record jobs growth, the proportion of working age Australians now dependent on welfare has fallen to 15.1 per cent – the lowest level in more than twenty five years.”

Data underpinning the most recent Australian Priority Investment Approach Valuation Report released today reveals:

  • Young people aged 22-24 who spent more than 80 per cent of their childhood with parents or guardians receiving income support are nearly three times more likely to be on welfare than children whose parents did not receive income support;
  • VET students, aged 16 to 17, are expected to spend 2.5 fewer years on income support over their future lifetime compared to secondary school students.

The Australian Priority Investment Approach to Welfare 2017 Valuation Report involves advanced data analytics to help improve the sustainability and effectiveness of Australia’s welfare system. The 2017 Valuation Report is available on the Department of Social Services’ website: