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Anglicare Australia responds to proposed welfare cuts

Aug 7, 2017, 10:56 AM by Maiy Azize

Anglicare Australia has made submissions in response to the government's proposed welfare reforms.

These changes could cut nearly half a billion dollars in proposed cuts to Australia’s shrinking social security net. Disturbingly, these savage and unnecessary cuts are accompanied by a deliberate revival of a culture of paternalism towards people on government payments.

Our submission to the Payment Integrity Bill urges that the Bill be rejected in its entirety. There is no reasonable or fair rationale for these measures, which would make punitive changes to age pensions and force people to spend their savings before seeking help.

Our submission to the Welfare Reform Bill strongly opposes the bulk of proposed measures. If passed, this Bill would cut another $478m from payments over the forward estimates. Most of the losses will be incurred by people who are unemployed and single parents.

Together, these two Bills would: 

  • Force older Australians into mutual obligation arrangements. This measure ignores the barriers facing older people looking for work, and is not accompanied by measures to create new positions or reduce discrimination against older workers.
  • Remove intent to claim provisions. This would mean that personal crises, such as family violence or relationship breakdown, cannot be considered when completing a claim.
  • Establish a drug testing trial. All of the evidence shows that drug testing income support recipients is expensive and achieves nothing.
  • Deny help to people harmed by their addiction. This proposal is profoundly cruel and unnecessary.
  • Add new and unnecessary compliance measures to a social security regime that is already one of the most onerous in the world.

These submissions build on our previous response to the proposed Energy Supplement cut.

Click here to download our submission to the Payment Integrity Bill and our submission to the Welfare Reform Bill.