New ways needed to address poverty

The Australian taxpayer pays considerable support for people in need, but the problems of poverty seem intractable. So, what other issues should we be thinking through?

Family breakdown, drug and alcohol abuse, indigenous disadvantage, poor educational outcomes all feed into the current culture of poverty that seems impossible to resolve.

New and creative intellectual and policy ideas need to be considered and the Minister will outline some of these.

The primary approach to tackling child poverty over the last 30 years – higher income support payments and more community services – will not provide the solution to significantly reducing entrenched impoverishment over the next 30 years. Rather, we will have to collectively address what I call the ‘pathways to poverty’ more systemically. These include welfare and other dependencies, poor education standards and family breakdown. This is the focus of much of the government’s efforts.