In relation to this FactCheck on the cost of Australia’s welfare bill compared to the personal income tax take, a spokesperson for Social Services Minister Christian Porter gave the following responses. Questions from The Conversation are in bold:
Could you please provide a source, or sources, to support Mr Porter’s statement that “under Labor after the GFC, the welfare system was costing over 100% of all income tax raised … under the Coalition that has reduced to around 80%”?
Percentage = 80.5%
Percentage = 101.8%
Was Mr Porter quoted accurately by the reporter?
Has Mr Porter said anything similar anywhere else, in a speech or in parliament?
Yes. In his address to the National Press Club in September 2016, available here, and subsequently in other speeches, media releases and media responses.
What did Mr Porter mean by “the welfare system”?
Is there any other comment you would like us to include in the article?
The minister’s reference simply highlighted the fact that under Labor, after the global financial crisis, more money was being paid to individuals through the welfare system than was being collected via income tax.
The data reinforced a key point in the minister’s speech to the National Press Club (and subsequently in other speeches/media release/media response) that such a position was unsustainable from a budget perspective. Such a situation, the minister argued, placed an undue burden on future generations through increased borrowings in order to meet the current cost of the Australian welfare system.
You can read the FactCheck here.