House debates

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Questions without Notice

Newstart Allowance

2:25 pm

Photo of Paul FletcherPaul Fletcher (Bradfield, Liberal Party, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts) Share this | Hansard source

I do thank the member for Indi for her question and I congratulate her on completing her first speech. The government has a very clear and consistent position when it comes to Newstart. The purpose of Newstart is to assist people to get into or return to the workforce, and our focus is on helping people move from welfare into work. The best form of welfare is a job. Of course, we are very focused on generating an increase in jobs. Indeed, since we came to government in 2013, we've generated more than $1.3 million new jobs. As at June 2018, there were 230,000 fewer Australians of working age on income support payments than in June 2014. The proportion of Australians of working age on income support payments has fallen to its lowest level in 30 years, at 14.3 per cent.

Every Australian who moves from welfare into work achieves a personal victory. They achieve a victory in terms of a sense of contribution and self-esteem and, of course, an improvement in their financial position. So what we are determined to do is to support Australians on Newstart in making that transition from welfare to work. We're doing that by driving growth in the economy and generating jobs. And we're doing it also with targeted assistance to people who are on welfare, through schemes like PaTH—the Youth Jobs PaTH program, prepare, trial and hire. We're spending almost $800 million over four years—

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