Welfare State

Despite a rapid increase in wealth and living standards over the past few decades, more Australians are dependent on the public purse than ever before.  Today, almost one in six working age Australians relies on welfare for all or part of their income.  A growing welfare state means an ever higher tax take is needed, bringing more taxpayers in to the welfare system.  How can government promote individual responsibility and self-reliance, while still providing a safety net?  How can patterns of joblessness and dependency be broken?

Publications

Youth Unemployment in Australia
Patrick Carvalho
22 November 2015 | Research Report 7

This report looks at quantifying the rising youth unemployment problem, understanding its causes and proposing policy solutions. Youth employment has progressively taken a hit after the Global Financial Crisis, practically doubling since mid-2008. At an average rate of 13.5% in the past 12 months, the…

The Madness of Australian Child Protection: Why Adoption Will Rescue Australia's Underclass Children
Jeremy Sammut
11 November 2015 | Connorcourt Publishing

Why are Australian children abused and neglected in plain sight of the child welfare authorities supposed to protect them? This passionate account of a flawed system argues that the crisis besetting child protection regimes nation-wide will not end until the taboo on the use of…

Helen Hughes: A Tribute
Glenys Byrne, Greg Lindsay, Noel Pearson, Ron Duncan, Tony Abbott
27 August 2014 | PF26

CIS Senior Fellow Professor Helen Hughes AO passed away on 15 June 2013 after a lifetime dedicated to working passionately and always fiercely on behalf of the poor and the powerless. Helen was a distinguished economist with a particular focus on development economics and improving…

Complex Family Payments: What it Costs the Village to Raise a Child
Trisha Jha
06 August 2014 | PM141

In 2013–14, $32 billion was spent on family payments, amounting to 7.7% of total federal expenditure in that year, and 22% of total federal spending on social security and welfare. Family Tax Benefits (FTB) and child care fee assistance are the two areas in which…

Fairer Paid Parental Leave
Matthew Taylor
07 July 2014 | T30.11

Australia spends just under $1.4 billion (2012–13) on statutory Paid Parental Leave (PPL) to provide more than 130,000 parents with up to 18 weeks of parental leave paid at the full-time minimum wage. The Abbott government proposes to pay primary carers at their pre-birth wages…

Media & Commentary

Local wages will mean local jobs
Greg Lindsay, Patrick Carvalho
06 January 2016 | Australian Financial Review

Beneath the growing dispute over Sunday penalty rates lies a much broader discussion over the limits and effectiveness of our national minimum wage system. Australians — in particular many young…

Early intervention can kill welfare dependence
Patrick Carvalho
29 December 2015 | The Australian

A more effective welfare management: the New Zealand experiment Australia should look across the Tasman Sea for an innovative approach to deal with high youth unemployment levels. The ratio of…

Good news on charities - mostly
Helen Andrews
11 December 2015 | Ideas@TheCentre

When the Gillard government created the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), it was a mixed blessing. On one hand, it imposed brand new red tape on small charities that…

Indigenous incarceration rates are a problem of poverty
Sara Hudson
10 December 2015 | Sydney Morning Herald

The government is wrong to delay responding to the Empowered Communities report, as their model could be the fresh thinking the Productivity Commission argues is needed to close the gaps…

Children are the forgotten victims of family violence
Jeremy Sammut
08 December 2015 | Daily Telegraph

The National Children’s Commissioner’s Children’s Right Report has rightly called for a national focus on the violence and abuse of the most vulnerable Australians. According to the report, one in…