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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Welfare dependency costs Australia $160bn each year

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WELFARE “addicts” who drop out of school and rely on cash handouts from cradle to the grave are costing taxpayers $547,000 over their lives.

And the lifetime cost of supporting some families locked in a cycle of welfare dependency is more than a million dollars for taxpayers.

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A new report has revealed the stunning cost of welfare dependency, predicting Australia’s annual welfare bill of $160 billion a year is set to explode into a trillion-dollar time bomb for future taxpayers.

Calling for an end to “set and forget” payments, Social Services Minister Christian Porter said the groundbreaking report had used decades of data to unlock the secrets of Australia’s welfare addiction.

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“The data we have points to the obvious fact that something must be done,’’ Mr Porter said.

“No one wants to see a young parent spend the rest of their life on welfare and have that lifestyle passed on to their children.

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“What this data shows is that for clearly identifiable groups of real young Australians this is exactly what the welfare system is doing and that must … change.

“Breaking entrenched cycles of welfare dependency will require a move away from the idea that it is good enough just to provide entire classes of welfare payments without any evidence it is helping families move back into paid work.

“What is revolutionary about a new approach is that it moves away from a set and forget view that the job is done once the money has been allocated to entire classes of welfare recipients.”

The federal government’s new approach will involve using sophisticated data analysis to identify high-risk groups that can break the cycle when offered more intensive early assistance to get off welfare and get a job.

The data also delivers ­detailed predictions on the risk of intergenerational welfare dependency in families where nobody works. The Sunday Telegraph has previously ­revealed the report estimates 80 per cent of young mothers grew up in jobless families.

It will be released by the government on Tuesday.

“Australians have always seen welfare as (a) helping hand to those in a time of need…,” Mr Porter said.

“But Australians will be rightly concerned when they see how many instances arise where passive welfare receipt turns the helping hand into a system that produces dependency to the point where welfare becomes a lifelong pattern which crosses generations.”

He said the key had to be new approaches and rules designed to target those groups where the evidence showed they had been passively receiving long-term welfare.

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The Indian Telegraph Sydney Australia

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