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  • Australia spends $430 million on welfare each day: report
  • 19/10/2017 Make a Comment
  • Contributed by: Rob ( 1 article in 2017 )
The Commonwealth, state and territory governments spent almost $160 billion on welfare in 2015-16, according to a new report.

Australia is forking out $430 million in welfare every day and the bill has soared by $40 billion in nine years, a national report card has found.

The Commonwealth, state and territory governments spent roughly $157 billion on welfare cash payments and services in 2015-16, up from $117 billion in 2006-07.

The eye-popping figures have been laid bare in a biennial Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report released on Thursday.

Assistant Minister Zed Seselja said the wide-ranging report - which canvassed issues including housing, education and employment - showed there was a long way to go to improve the overall welfare of Australians.

"Intergenerational welfare dependence is a real issue in our community and this report gives us some of the data we need to help address these areas of concern," Senator Seselja said.

"It is our job as a government to make sure this money is providing a hand up, not a hand out, and is going to those who need it most."

More than two-thirds of cash payments ($105 billion) went to specific populations excluding the unemployed, with just 6.3 per cent ($10 billion) spent on unemployment benefits.

Some 27 per cent of the welfare spending ($42 billion) was allocated to services.

Senator Seselja said the climbing welfare costs vindicated his government's efforts to get Australians off welfare and into work to curb persistent disadvantage, and to ensure payments went to the most vulnerable.

The overall increase meant welfare spending accounted for 9.5 per cent of gross domestic product, compared with 8.6 per cent nine years earlier.

An estimated 478,000 people were employed in the welfare workforce in 2015, an increase of 84 per cent since 2005.

One in nine (or 2.7 million) Australians were informal carers.


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