At its peak in 1996, nearly 25% of Australia’s working-age population was receiving basic income support benefits.
What aspects of the government’s reforms succeeded in assisting people into employment? And did the reforms improve the population’s economic well-being? Or have they left some groups worse off?
Greater choice and control leads to better outcomes and more efficient use of funding.
Would politicians have the courage to stand up to backlash if people with disability use their care money to pay for overseas holidays, sex workers, internet dating, or tickets to sporting events?
A basic income proposal directly addresses the problem of people falling through the cracks of a complex welfare system.
Might the lessons of Australia’s super-efficient welfare system offer a potential way forward for the development of a basic income – a universal, low but adequate payment?
The government has promised increased funding for services to gain community consent for its welfare card trials.
How can it be determined whether any improvements that may occur as part of the 12-month "cashless debit card" trial are the result of the card or increased funding for services, or a mix of both?
The government has compromised on Family Tax Benefit measures from the 2014 budget that failed to pass the Senate.
The government’s revised Family Tax Benefit proposals will still have some significant negative impacts on low-income families, but they are not as regressive as the 2014 budget.
Scott Morrison claims that New Zealand provides Australia with a model for welfare reform.
There is no mandatory four-week wait for young people to receive benefits in New Zealand.
Not all elderly Chinese people live with their children.
China Stringer Network/Reuters
When you scrape below the surface it's not hard to see that 'culture' is the wrong answer to almost every question.
The loss represents a setback for Social Services Minister Scott Morrison, whose negotiations with the crossbench failed.
The Senate has defeated the government's budget measure to make job seekers under 25 wait four weeks for income support.
Joe Hockey’s approach to reform would be to treat voters as consumers, with promises of lower taxes and more wealth.
Good societies with secure public systems will increase investment much faster than company or personal tax cuts.
Tony Abbott has flagged a plebiscite, or ‘people’s vote’, on same-sex marriage.
Every generation in the last 150 years has seen in Australia a contest over marriage which reflects shifting positions on its defining features, and its associated rights and obligations.
The government should follow the evidence-based advice before wasting more money on a new “trial” program that further infantilises mainly Indigenous welfare recipients and won't work.
Gagging clauses in contracts permit purchasers of research to modify, substantially delay, or prohibit the reporting of findings.
Government departments often commission research to help them understand and respond to policy issues. But they impose contract conditions that threaten to undermine the integrity of the work.
Millions of calls to Centrelink went unanswered as Australians waited a collective total of 811 years in 2013-14.
Shutterstock/Sarah Jane Taylor
Centrelink's failure to answer calls is a sign of a deeper problem: a lack of respect from government services for vulnerable citizens.
Patrick McClure’s recently released review of Australia’s welfare system borrowed heavily from the reform agenda across the ditch.
The claim that New Zealand's investment approach to welfare reform has been “very successful” is at best unproven. Arguably, it is plain wrong.
The three scenarios in Joe Hockey’s Intergenerational Report present very different pictures of the future budget situation.
The Intergenerational Report may actually be underestimating the scale of the budgetary challenges ahead.
Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten are united in condemning violence against women and children, but both overlook the young people who are victims too.
Responses to family violence by Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten and the terms of reference for Victoria's royal commission fail to mention young people. Such a lack of recognition has dire consequences.
Many services in NSW that previously operated as specialist women’s refuges have been dramatically transformed under recent reforms.
Research about specialist women’s domestic violence and other refuges does not support the claims made by NSW Family and Community Services Minister Gabrielle Upton that recent sweeping changes to these…
Resisting division in Denmark.
A memorial service has been held in Copenhagen for the victims of the shootings that killed two and injured five in the city on February 14. A crowd of up to 40,000 people gathered just around the corner…
Osborne will have to do more if he wants to reach targets for social security spending.
Philip Toscano/PA Wire
A Green Budget for 2015 was released recently by the Institute for Fiscal Studies. The detailed report on social security spending shows that a future government would have to implement much deeper cuts…
Getting the right balance between short- and medium-term ‘fixes’ may well be the most significant challenge for Social Services Minister Scott Morrison.
Scott Morrison’s appointment as minister for social services in late December 2014 has been seen as an important step for the Abbott government as it moves towards its second budget. The tasks he faces…