September 20, 2016

Christian Porter today failed to answer how the Turnbull Government will be investing in vulnerable Australians to help them get into the workforce.

Asked at the National Press Club what his announcement today will do to help young carers, Mr Porter responded:

“That’s a really good question and one I don’t have an answer for.”

Christian Porter, NPC, 20 September 2016

We got more questions than answers from Mr Porter’s announcement.

Mr Porter must answer what investments the Government will make to help vulnerable Australians get into education and training and get a job.

Labor supports smart investments to help at risk people get into the workforce.

But it’s not an ‘investment approach’ if you’re cutting support to vulnerable Australians.

The Turnbull Government is still committed to harsh zombie measures from the 2014 and 2015 Budgets that actually punish vulnerable Australians, this includes:

  • One month wait for Newstart;

  • Cutting Paid Parental Leave to 80,000 new mums each year;

  • Changing the eligibility age for Newstart – this will push young jobseekers between the ages of 22 and 24 onto the lower Youth Allowance – a cut of around $48 a week or around $2,500 a year;

  • Abolition of the Pensioner Education Supplement.


Mr Porter said he thinks the one month wait for Newstart is “a very sound measure”.

You don’t help young people by cutting their support and driving them into poverty and hardship.

Let’s not forget the Liberals cut $270 million from community organisations in the 2014 Budget – grassroots community groups that were set up to help vulnerable Australians.

Mr Porter’s claim that social security expenditure excludes spending on residential aged care and child care is wrong, as evidenced by the chart below from the Government’s own Budget papers.



  • Age Pension and support for seniors $45.4 billion (29 per cent of social security and welfare expenditure)

  • Family Tax Benefit: $19.3 billion (12 per cent)

  • Income support for people with disabilities: $17.1 billion (11 per cent)

  • Job seekers: $10.5 billion (7 per cent)

  • Carers: $8.4 billion (5 per cent)


Source: Australian Government, Budget strategy and outlook: budget paper no. 1: 2016–17, pp. 5-25-5-29.



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