Social security

Report

No-one left behind: supporting people with complex needs on universal credit

For the UK social security system to provide an effective social safety net, it must work for everyone. This paper examines the role of discretion as exercised by work coaches at Jobcentre Pluses in the experience of people claiming universal credit who are out of...
Report

A fairer tax and welfare system for Australia

This research paper was commissioned by the St Vincent de Paul Society National Council of Australia Inc. as an initiative to help address the growing gap between ‘the haves’ and ‘the have nots’ in Australia. The paper proposes three simple policy proposals designed to improve...
Report

Return to the family safety net? Economic security as Life Chances participants turn 30

The findings in this report signal directions for policy development that will alleviate economic disadvantage and contribute to a fairer future for the Life Chances participants and their families, and all Australians.
Report

Social security and stigma in Australia

This report provides an analysis of the available evidence on how Australia’s social security system supports people who are unable to work (or unable to secure adequate income through work) due to their experience of mental ill-health, or caring for someone with mental ill-health.
Report

Debt, duress and dob-ins: Centrelink compliance processes and domestic violence

This report, looking at Centrelink debts and domestic violence, shows that survivors of domestic violence, usually women, are unfairly held solely responsible for social security debts in situations where the debt was the direct result of their partner’s or ex-partner’s threats, physical violence or coercion.
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...
Working paper

Safety net to poverty trap? The twentieth-century origins of Australia’s uneven social security system

Tracing the history of Australia’s social security system helps us to consider what reforms are needed for the present day. This paper explores how our social security system has developed over more than 100 years since Federation, and why it is no longer suitable for...
Policy report

A generous increase in Newstart?

This paper provides estimates of where Newstart is now and how it will look after the coronavirus supplement for different family types.
Report

Bilateral agreement arrangements between Services Australia and other entities

The objective of this audit was to examine the effectiveness of bilateral agreement arrangements between Services Australia and other entities.
Media release

Supporting Australian workers and business

The Commonwealth Government has today released the second stage of its economic plan to cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus and help build a bridge to recovery. A total of $189 billion is being injected into the economy by all arms of Government in...
Report

State of the nation report

The State of the Nation Report 2020 looks back on one decade and forward to a brand new one. This report looks at five specific areas of social wellbeing and measures outcomes that impact on the wellbeing of the communities, whānau and individuals.