June 26, 2017

The Minister for Social Services, Christian Porter, has once again been caught out using misleading figures about social security expenditure in Australia. 

Last month, Mr Porter claimed that:

“Under Labor after the GFC, the welfare system was costing over 100% of all income tax raised. That’s clearly an unsustainable position that simply puts the burden of welfare payments on future generations through higher debt. Under the Coalition that has reduced to around 80%.”

Christian Porter, 22 May 2017

But as The Conversation’s FactCheck shows under Labor from 2009-10 to 2013-14, expenditure on social security was on average, 87% of income tax receipts, and was at 85.9% by the time of Labor’s final budget.

Mr Porter deliberately used the figures from the 2008-09 Budget which occurred during Labor’s fiscal response to the Global Financial Crisis – a response that saved Australian jobs.

Mr Porter can’t stop misleading people about the level of spending on Australia’s social security system. He is constantly twisting numbers to justify his cuts to vulnerable Australians.

Last year Mr Porter’s own Department revealed that the number of working age Australians in the social security system has fallen eight per cent since 1996.

“Since 1996, there’s been a decrease in the percentage of the working age population, aged 16 to 64 receiving income support from 24.7% at 1996 to 16.6%.”

 Department of Social Services, Senate Estimates, 20 October 2016

But this isn’t the first time Christian Porter has been caught out cherry-picking numbers in an attempt to demonise vulnerable people in the social security system.

Last year Mr Porter falsely claimed that thousands of parents in the social security system earn more than if they had a job.

Mr Porter misleadingly used the example of a single parent family with four children aged between four and 13, despite ABS data showing that only around 4 per cent of single parents have four or more children.

Mr Porter was completely wrong to say a single parent earning a salary of about $45,000 would be better off not working, because they would still receive family tax benefits to support the cost of raising their children.

Christian Porter must stop using misleading figures to try and scare people into accepting his unfair cuts.

MONDAY, 26 JUNE 2017

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