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Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Page: 175

Parenting benefits

(Question No. 66)

Mr Keogh asked the Minister for Social Services, in writing, on 7 November 2016:

In respect of Government data on parenting benefits reported in the media article by Sarah Martin 'Parental welfare pays more than work' (The Australian, 28 October 2016), was this data produced internally by his department? If so, how many staff hours were spent compiling this data? If not:a) who was engaged to prepare the data?b) what was the cost to his department of preparing the data?c) was he or his department advised that the data excluded family tax benefits payable to the employed parent example?

Mr Porter: The Minister for Social Services has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

The following parenting benefits data quoted in the media article by Sarah Martin, 'Parental welfare pays more than work' (The Australian 28 October 2016) were produced internally by my Department:

data of the top 10 per cent of those on parenting benefits, about 43,200 people, received at least $45,032 in 2014-15; and

data relating to a hypothetical single parent with four children who receives more than $50,000 p.a.

The first data took one officer approximately two hours to complete. The second data took five officers a total of two hours effort. My Department also provided advice that in both instances the data included any Family Tax Benefit, Child Care Benefit and any other payments these families may be eligible for.

I understand that the data in the article concerning median full-time wages was sourced from the Australian National University. My Department was not consulted about these data.