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300,000 Australians worse off, only 100,000 in work under welfare changes.

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Media Release

Penny Wong Labor Senator for South Australia Shadow Minister for Employment and Workforce Participation, Corporate Governance and Responsibility

Wednesday 3 August 2005


The Howard Government's incompetent welfare-to-work package continues to unravel with the Department responsible for the changes admitting the Government now only expects 109,000 people to move into work.

In answers this week to questions on notice, the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations contradicted the Treasurer's boasts in the Budget lock-up that 190,000 would move from welfare to work.

This same package will leave at least 300,000 Australians worse off, according to figures released earlier this week by the Australian Council of Social Services.

"The incompetence of the Government's welfare changes is clear on the numbers", Shadow Employment Minister Penny Wong said today.

"Cutting the income of 300 000 vulnerable Australians, to try and get just a third of that number into work, shows how badly the Howard Government has mismanaged their welfare changes.

"John Howard and Peter Costello cobbled this package together at the last minute before Budget night, without proper input from the departments or other ministers.

"Now they've come up with a package that punishes 3 times more people than it will help.

"After 9 long years of talking about welfare reform, this government still hasn't come up with a sensible plan to move people from welfare to work.

"Their extreme changes will simply cut the income of many vulnerable Australians by moving them from one welfare payment to a lower welfare payment.

For further information: • Nathan Fabian - 0412 128 486