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?


Life Before Death: Improving Palliative Care for Older Australians
Jessica Borbasi
19 November 2017 | RR34

The notion that the problems associated with modern death and dying can be solved simply by allowing more Australians to die at home is an oversimplification. Moreover, the myth that most people want to die at home, but don’t, has also unhelpfully reinforced the popular…

Resetting the Pendulum: Balanced, Effective, Accountable Child Protection Systems and Adoption Reform in Australia
Jeremy Sammut
11 November 2017 | RR33

The national significance of the NSW child protection and adoption reforms cannot be overstated. The changes to child protection services in NSW not only constitute a blueprint for genuine systemic change across the full service spectrum, designed to address the unsustainable trajectory of OOHC services.…

UBI – Universal Basic Income is an Unbelievably Bad Idea
Simon Cowan
05 November 2017 | RR32

The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI), paid by the government to its citizens with few restrictions, has been around for a long time. One of the main justifications for introducing a UBI is the impending changes to the labour market as a result…

Welfare reform beyond decades of dependence, ‘dole bludgers’ and ‘double dipping’
Simon Cowan
31 May 2017 | OP156

Recent attempts to reform welfare have focused on the wrong elements of the system. In some cases, advocating tightening eligibility for unemployment benefits and single mother payments while simultaneously increasing the scope and cost of family benefits and pension payments. Blaming ‘dole bludgers’ will never…

Fiscal Fiction: The Real Medicare Levy
Jeremy Sammut
07 May 2017 | RR27

The Medicare Levy is, and always has been, a fiscal fiction. The revenue raised by the levy is not ‘hypothecated’ – dedicated specifically to fund Medicare – but goes into general government revenue. Moreover, the amount of revenue raised by the levy accounts for a…

Media & Commentary

Big data and welfare
Simon Cowan
09 February 2018 | Ideas@TheCentre

The idea of big data in the welfare system has come to be associated with the reconciliation of ATO pay data with social security income, and the resulting teething problems…

Migrants must integrate — that’s a fact
Jeremy Sammut
09 January 2018 | DAILY TELEGRAPH

Melbourne is seemingly only now finding out what Sydney has long known: ‘politically correct’ multiculturalism hinders integration and leads to social problems. Melbourne’s African gang crisis shows how lucky we…

Adoption not the ‘fast resort’
Jeremy Sammut
17 November 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

The NSW Government has introduced new rules making it mandatory for all children in ‘out-of-home’ care to find a permanent home within two years of entering state care. This means…

Towards a circuit-breaker on welfare reform
Susan Windybank
22 September 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

In a recent post for the Foundation for Economic Freedom, US ethics professor Richard Ebeling revisits the vital role that voluntary associations once played in the United States in providing…

Despair beneath the boab tree
Sara Hudson
11 August 2017 | Ideas@TheCentre

There is a stark contrast between the beauty of the Kimberley and the sense of despair enveloping many of the people living there. The State Coroner is currently conducting an…