A new report has recommended sweeping changes to Australia’s welfare system. Among those recommendations: A suggestion families should have to vaccinate their kids in order to receive the Child and Youth Payment.
A wide-ranging review of the nation’s $150 billion welfare system has laid out a plan for five basic payments and recommends tightening the eligibility for disability support.
The Coalition commissioned the review in December 2013 and asked lead author Patrick McClure, a former head of Mission Australia, to find ways to save money and encourage more people to return to work.
It has called for simplification of the 20 income support payments and 55 supplementary payments but that no-one should receive less money than they do now.
The report suggests there should be five primary payments: a tiered working age payment, a supported living pension, a child and youth payment, a carer payment and an age pension.
“The key to a simpler architecture is to have fewer primary payment types with varying rates within the primary payments that better reflect different circumstances,” the review said.
“Many people currently on Newstart allowance would be better off in the new system,” it added.
The report recommended creating a supported living pension for those assessed as having a work capacity of less than eight hours a week, who are expected to have the same limited capacity for another five years.
It recommended that a person’s eligibility for the supported living pension be based not on the permanence of their impairment, but instead on how long they would be limited in their capacity to work.
Those with a less severe disability would be on a working age payment, which would have three levels reflecting people’s capacity to work.
The upper tier would be for people with a disability and a capacity to work between eight and 14 hours per week.
The middle tier would be for those with a disability and a moderate capacity to work between 15 and 29 hours per week or those with dependent children or young people under 22.