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Government admits welfare changes will hurt solution: make the system twice as complicated.

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Government Admits Welfare Changes Will Hurt Solution: Make The System Twice As Complicated

Media Statement - 7th November 2005

The Howard Government's third backdown on its extreme welfare changes will only add complexity to the welfare system, without helping people gain work, Shadow Employment Minister, Penny Wong, said today.

Senator Wong was responding to a report in The Australian that detailed proposals to alter the welfare changes announced in the Budget.

"Today, the Howard Government has conceded that people will be worse off under the welfare changes, but is still persisting with extreme changes that dump parents and people with a disability onto the dole," Senator Wong said.

"Under these changes, you're damned if you work, and you're damned if you don't.

"The incompetent concessions that have been proposed don't make the system more effective - or move people from welfare to work. Instead, they just create more problems.

"Currently, there are two streams of payment for parents. In future, there may be at least four streams of payment. After saying it would simplify the welfare system, the Howard Government has doubled the complexity of the welfare system.

"Parents in cities will receive lower payments than parents in remote areas, even though they face a higher cost of living.

"The total incompetence of the changes is revealed by the fact that some parents will receive a top up payment of $20 a week, which leaves them with the same income as they had before the changes. But because they will be on Newstart, they face a more punishing effective marginal tax rate, which means they have less reward from work.

"People who try to move into work will still have their incentive crushed. John Howard still will take back up to 75 cents of every dollar a welfare recipient earns from work.

"And the concessions for people with a disability are pathetic.

Australian Labor Party National ALP



Penny Wong


"After nine long years and countless announcements, the Howard Government still hasn't come up with a competent plan to move people from welfare to work. They have created a bigger mess than ever."

Authorised by Tim Gartrell, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.

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