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  • The 'mind-body problem' and proposed DSP reforms

    Posted 18/11/2014 by Matthew Thomas
    The interim report of the Review of Australia’s Welfare System led by Patrick McClure was released on 29 June 2014. The report contains proposals for significant reforms to the Disability Support Pension (DSP). The reforms would see the DSP reserved for people with a permanent impairment and no capacity to work. Those people with a partial capacity to work would be placed on a lower tiered working age payment and provided with support to improve their employment capacity. The proposals r... Read more...

    TAGS: Disability Support Pension, mental health, disability employment, welfare reform

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  • Pension indexation: a brief history

    Posted 16/04/2014 by Michael Klapdor
    In the lead-up to the Coalition Government’s first Budget, speculation has focused on possible changes to the age pension, including adjusting the way pension rates are indexed. Indexation is a complex and important component of the Australian social security system but one that is often misunderstood. The following provides an explanation and brief history of indexation. How pension rates are adjusted Currently, pensions (including the Age Pension, Service Pension, Disability Support Pe... Read more...

    TAGS: pensions,welfare policy,welfare reform,social security

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  • What’s happening with the McClure welfare review?

    Posted 19/03/2014 by Luke Buckmaster
    The Government is conducting a review into welfare payments, headed by former Mission Australia CEO, Patrick McClure. This post briefly outlines what is currently known about the McClure review, including its objectives, processes and possible outcomes. Late in 2013, it was reported that McClure had been asked to provide recommendations on streamlining and improving Australia’s system of welfare payments. While initially it was thought that the review would examine the entire system, the ... Read more...

    TAGS: welfare policy, welfare reform, social security

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  • Growth in Age Pension receipt: the elephant in the room of the welfare reform debate

    Posted 24/01/2014 by Carol Ey
    The Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews, has recently expressed concern at the continued growth in the number of people in receipt of income support payments, and suggested that the welfare system is unsustainable. He has therefore commissioned Patrick McClure to undertake a review of the welfare system. Mr McClure’s previous review led to the Welfare to Work changes in 2006. However a closer investigation of the figures, released by the Department of Social Security, suggests that welfare receipt among those of working age is already declining, and hence the scope to make further large reductions may be limited. However Age Pension take up rates continue to increase. Read more...

    TAGS: social security, welfare reform

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  • Extending income management in Cape York

    Posted 29/11/2013 by Luke Buckmaster
    Image: Coen (Wikimedia Commons)
    Legislation introduced into Parliament last week proposes to extend operation of income management in Cape York for a further two years until the end of 2015. This will be the third time income management has been extended in Cape York since it began in 2008. The Government argues that income management is a key element of welfare reform efforts in Cape York, which it says have 'seen improved school attendance, care and protection of children and community safety'.Cape York income managementInco... Read more...

    TAGS: employment, income management, indigenous Australians, welfare, welfare reform

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  • New Place Based Income Management to commence 1 July

    Posted 29/06/2012 by Luke Buckmaster
    Image: Bankstown Railway Station (Wikimedia Commons)
    A new form of income management being introduced next week will extend welfare quarantining to selected disadvantaged areas across Australia, targeting people involved in child protection matters and deemed vulnerable to financial hardship.From 1 July, the Government will introduce a new form of income management to communities in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.   So, how will the new Place Based Income Management operate and how does it differ from existing forms? Why... Read more...

    TAGS: income management, social security, welfare policy, welfare reform

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  • Income management: some answers to key questions

    Posted 21/06/2012 by Luke Buckmaster
    Image: BasicsCard kiosk, (Centrelink)
    From 1 July 2012, income management will be extended to five new disadvantaged communities across Australia: Bankstown (New South Wales), Logan (Queensland), Rockhampton (Queensland), Playford (South Australia) and Greater Shepparton (Victoria).While the policy of income management of welfare payments has been highly controversial, the specific details of its various forms are not generally well understood. The Parliamentary Library has released a Background Note seeking to address this lack of ... Read more...

    TAGS: income management, social security, welfare policy, welfare reform

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  • Is income management working?

    Posted 2/05/2012 by Luke Buckmaster
     
    Image: BasicsCard kiosk (Centrelink)
      Much of the debate surrounding income management of welfare payments has related to the question of evidence. That is, is there evidence to justify the policy? Alternatively, is there evidence of policy failure or harmful consequences arising from income management? In other words, is income management working?Income management (also known as ‘welfare quarantining’) refers to a policy under which a percentage of the welfare payments of certain people are set aside to be spent only on ‘pri... Read more...

    TAGS: income management, welfare policy, welfare reform

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  • Income management and the Racial Discrimination Act

    Posted 21/03/2012 by Luke Buckmaster
    
    Mick Gooda Image source: indigenous.gov.au
    In March 2011, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda, is reported to have said that it is likely that some time in the future a complaint under the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA) will be lodged with the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in relation to income management of welfare payments on the grounds that it discriminates against Indigenous people. If any such complaint were upheld, this would be a significant test of one of the main pilla... Read more...

    TAGS: income management, Northern Territory Emergency Response, Racial Discrimination Act, welfare reform

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  • What's the future for income management in the Northern Territory?

    Posted 4/07/2011 by Luke Buckmaster
    In her foreword to the Government’s recent discussion paper on the future of the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER), the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, argued that lack of consultation had caused ‘ongoing anger, fear and distrust among indigenous people’ and that the next stage of the NTER would need to be based on ‘partnership with Aboriginal people’. To this end, the Government plans to consult with Aboriginal people over coming months about ‘what has worked well and... Read more...

    TAGS: income management, indigenous Australians, Northern Territory Emergency Response, welfare reform

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