Welfare economics

Briefing paper

01 Jul 2017

This policy brief

  • summarises trends in spending on social security cash transfers and services in Australia since 1980.
  • examines trends in the proportion of the population receiving different social security payments and
  • compares Australian social security spending
  • ...
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Report

21 Jun 2017

In December 2016 and early January 2017, a number of people started raising public concerns about receiving letters saying they owed Centrelink significant debts. Media articles claimed Centrelink was operating a debt recovery system with a high error rate. The individuals and whistle-blowers...

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Discussion paper

01 Jun 2017

The two essays in this Occasional Paper take divergent approaches to the reform of the welfare state, while both focusing on the perennial hot button issue of socalled ‘middle class welfare’.

Simon Cowan argues that given the size of federal government payments to Australian families, the...

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Commentary

Article

04 May 2017

The federal government’s Cashless Debit Card Trial, which began in selected communities in South Australia and Western Australia from March 2016, is a...

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Commentary

Article

19 Apr 2017

A recent report by the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees raised concerns about the erosion of retirement income by ongoing rental or mortgage payments.

The report by the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees is timely, given the Australian aged pension system is...

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Research report

23 Mar 2017

Australia’s retirement income system has long implicitly taken it for granted that the vast majority of retired people will have very low housing costs – in turn reflecting a presumption that most of them will own their own homes, and will have fully paid down any mortgage debt taken on in order...

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Evaluation

14 Mar 2017

With support from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), and developed in close consultation with local community leaders, local and state government agencies and other Australian Government agencies, the Department of Social Services (DSS) is conducting a 12-month trial of...

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Strategy

08 Mar 2017

The Australian Government is undertaking a Cashless Debit Card Trial (CDCT) to deliver and manage income support payments (ISPs), with the aim of reducing levels of community harm related to alcohol consumption, drug use and gambling. 

In the CDCT, a proportion of an individual’s ISP is...

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Commentary

Article

27 Feb 2017

UEXPECTED bills can be a challenge for any household. But for people who rely on social security payments, unexpected news of a significant debt – sometimes dating back years – can be bewildering, to say the least. This is exactly what tens of thousands of Australians have experienced in recent...

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Discussion paper

27 Jan 2017

The purpose of this discussion paper is to explore ways the Australian Government can develop the social impact investing market.

This discussion paper proposes that the Australian Government could primarily support social impact investing by creating an enabling environment for private...

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Research report

20 Nov 2016

The Commonwealth Government could save about $1 billion a year by winding back three tax breaks for older Australians that are unduly generous and have no sensible policy rationale.

Seniors pay less tax and get a higher rebate on private health insurance than do younger workers on the...

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Working paper

07 Nov 2016

‘Income management’ programs, restricting the way in which some recipients of government transfers can spend this money, have operated in Australia since 2007. The nature of the programs implemented varies considerably, including the mix of voluntary and compulsory elements, and differences in...

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Briefing paper

03 Nov 2016

Following Duncan Storrar’s appearance on the ABC’s 'Q&A' program on 9 May 2016, one of the milder reactions to his questions about tax cuts was an article in The Australian - “ABC’s ‘budget fairness’ victim pays no net tax”.

The article pointed out that Mr Storrar was “sporadically...

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Commentary

Article

13 Sep 2016

The nature of the Australian labour force has changed drastically in a very short time. In the late 1970s, eight in 10 workers had full-time jobs. Today, only 65 per cent of workers are considered to be in full-time work. Jobs are now increasingly casual (currently 20.1 per cent of the labour...

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Briefing paper

04 Aug 2016

New research released by the Australia Institute today shows that government moves to cut unemployment benefits will put recipients at 32% below the poverty line.

The research also highlights staggering inequality in Australia where the ten richest Australian families have the same wealth...

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Briefing paper

01 Aug 2016

An Effective Marginal Tax Rate (EMTR) measures the loss resulting from income taxation combined with the withdrawal of a cash transfer or welfare benefit, applied to earning an extra (marginal) dollar of income. EMTRs are a result of the interaction of tax and welfare systems. Specifically, a...

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Commentary

Article

01 Aug 2016

The Australian government is embarking on welfare reform to try and wean people off long term benefit reliance. Social Services Minister Christian Porter has indicated that New Zealand’s investment approach is one to follow, after the government flagged it would be cracking down on people...

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Discussion paper

20 Jun 2016

With experience as a prison doctor and psychiatrist, Theodore Dalrymple decries the impact of the welfare state and a culture of dependence in society.

A phrase such as ‘a broken society’ should not be made to bear more meaning than it has. Societies do not break; they continue to exist...

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Research report

11 May 2016

Social impact bonds (SIBs) can be defined as “a mechanism that harnesses private capital for social services and encourages outcome achievement by making repayment contingent upon success.” Since 2010, which marked the advent of the first SIB, 43 have been set up in 11 countries representing an...

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Working paper

01 Feb 2016

This study quantifies the macroeconomic and welfare effects of three proposed fiscal measures to eliminate Australian government budget deficits and to reduce public debt by 2030, namely: (i) temporary income tax hikes; (ii) temporary consumption tax hikes (increases in the GST rate); and (iii)...

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