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Fact sheet

Fact Check: Scott Morrison says the unemployment benefit is at the same level that prevailed during the Howard era. Is he correct?

Prime Minister Scott Morrison claimed that a $50 fortnightly increase to the unemployment benefit would take the payment, when expressed as a proportion of the minimum wage, back to where it sat during the period of the Howard Government. He said this would bring the...
Report

Financial stress and social security settings in Australia

This research finds that inadequate social security payments play a significant role in shaping poverty and financial stress trends in Australia. It also finds that it is possible to address these challenges by increasing the overall social security budget.
Report

Social security and time use during COVID-19

This study used an online survey to examine how people receiving social security payments used the $550 Coronavirus Supplement (‘the Supplement’) and their time as a result of the temporary suspension of mutual obligations. The research indicates a substantial gap between Australian Government policy, policy...
Report

Jobs and benefits: the COVID-19 challenge

This report looks at what can be learned from the experience of the coronavirus pandemic about the opportunities for reforms to government financial support for working age people and the key features of a social security system that has flexibility to respond rapidly to new...
Report

Unemployment payments and work incentives: an international comparison

The Morisson Government has argued that Australia’s internationally low unemployment payments are needed, in part as an incentive to encourage the unemployed to look for and accept work. This report tests the government’s theory by comparing Australia’s unemployment payments and unemployment rate (pre-COVID) to that...
Discussion paper

JobMatcher: real unemployment insurance

Many Australians receive very little protection from income risk due to unemployment. A significant portion of people live paycheck-to-paycheck. This discussion paper outlines a new proposal to better support Australians experiencing unemployment.
Report

Everyone counts: uncovering patterns of Newstart Allowance

This analysis of administrative social security data aimed to gain a clearer understanding of income volatility in Australia. The focus is on unemployed and underemployed Australians who received Newstart Allowance — a group of individuals highly exposed to the risks of financial insecurity.
Discussion paper

We’ve got your back: building a framework that protects us from precarity

This paper proposes is a complete reconfiguration of Australia's social security system - a reconfiguration that brings together an integrated policy framework with elements that would constitute a social guarantee in the face of the threats to social and economic security that have come to...
Report

A family stimulus: supporting children, families and the economy through the pandemic

This paper makes the case for a "family stimulus" – a much-needed boost to the income of hard-hit families through the social security system and targeted investment in childcare to ensure the continued functioning of the sector. This will put cash directly into the hands...
Report

How universal child benefits can build a fairer, more inclusive and resilient future

Universal child benefits (UCBs) are regular, unconditional income transfers in the form of cash or tax transfers, which are paid to caregivers of children from the time of pregnancy or birth until the child’s 18th birthday. In this report, the authors call upon governments, donors...