Welfare dependence in Australia continues to fall

The proportion of working-age Australians receiving welfare benefits has fallen to its lowest level in more than 30 years.

Department of Social Services analysis of recently released Australian Bureau of Statistics population data shows 13.5 per cent of the working-age population was receiving working‑age income support payments at June 2019.

This is a drop from the previous year’s level of 14.3 per cent and marks a significant reduction over the past decade when in 2009 the proportion of working-age Australians relying on welfare was 17.2 per cent.

Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said these figures show that the Morrison Government’s plan to provide pathways from welfare to employment was working.

“We are focussed on growing the economy, getting more people into work, and delivering well-targeted social security funded through a strong budget,” Minister Ruston said.

“More than 1.5 million jobs have been created since the Coalition was elected. As more people find employment we are seeing a fall in the number of working-age Australians on welfare.”

In 2019-20 the Government is forecast to spend $180 billion on social security and welfare – about one in every three dollars of taxpayer money spent. 

“The safety net our social security system provides is vital to support the most vulnerable among us which is why it is crucial that the system remains sustainable,” Minister Ruston said.

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