Although people of various political persuasions and financial means regularly espouse the need for Australia to reform its social security framework, what is considered a fair approach is open to debate. The current federal government has committed to reforming the welfare and family assistance payment system to foster responsibility and provide positive programs and incentives for people to move out of welfare dependency.
The test for any government in a welfare state, however, lies in addressing the challenges facing workforce participation in a way that makes a serious and long-lasting difference. How does Australia reduce welfare dependency without punishing the poor?
Issues for debate in this book include long-term unemployment benefit levels, disability support pension eligibility, ‘welfare to work’ schemes, and income management. Is fixing the welfare system the hardest job of all?