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Government's responsibilities not being met in new welfare policy.



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Rachel Siewert  Australian Greens 

Government's responsibilities not being met in new welfare policy

Media Release | Spokesperson Rachel Siewert

Wednesday 11th August 2010, 5:04pm

The Greens have criticised the lack of balance in Julia Gillard's new "Modernising Australia's Welfare

System" policy, suggesting that many of the opportunities it claims to be creating are illusory and the

responsibility all seems to be heading in one direction.

“Today's announcement is framed in the language of 'mutual responsibility' but when you look at the details

behind the announcement, it’s clear that the Gillard Government does not have the means to deliver on

their end of the deal," said Greens community services spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert.

“This is quite frankly double-speak from the ALP," Senator Siewert said.

“When you look at the bottom line they have promised a series of welfare changes which will require more

resources to implement, but there is no corresponding increase in the welfare budget to deliver the extra

services and support they are promising.

“The new policy also makes it crystal clear that extending income management across Australia is on the

ALPs agenda - its not a matter of 'if', but simply an issue of when and how: 'The first step is getting

underway across the Northern Territory, and this experience will inform the future roll-out of income

management across Australia'- page 8.

“Keeping in mind that income management has been found to cost around $4500 per person per annum -

this will mean a substantial increase in Centrelink administration. Without a major increase in the welfare

budget this will mean a significant cut in other support services.

“Income management is an expensive measure with little if any evidence to suggest it produces results.

“It makes no sense to be cutting other services, such as instance intensive family supports services (with a

cost benefit of $8 for every $1 spent) to implement this punitive and demeaning approach,”concluded

Senator Siewert.