House debates

Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Questions without Notice

Welfare Reform

2:50 pm

Photo of Melissa McIntoshMelissa McIntosh (Lindsay, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Families and Social Services. Will the minister update the House on how the Morrison government's stable and certain approach to welfare is successfully removing barriers to employment and getting people off welfare and into a job?

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 Lindsay, who has a very strong commitment to helping Australians make the transition from welfare into work, including her constituents. Indeed, in the discharge of my former responsibilities I was delighted to join the member on a visit to Lindsay to explore and deal with examples of exactly how we are working to assist people to make the transition from welfare to work through projects like Productivity Bootcamp, where I joined the member for the official opening of their Penrith trial site. Our government is funding this project with $2.24 million. Four hundred and thirty young people will be trained in skills in construction in an eight-week course. That is a very good example of the focus that our government has on assisting people to make the transition from welfare to work. We're doing that. We're delivering certainty and stability in our approach to helping Australians make the transition from welfare into work.

People know what we on this side of the House stand for. We stand for the proposition that the best form of welfare is a job. More than just standing for that proposition, we're acting to deliver it. We've created 1.4 million jobs since we came to government in 2013. The proportion of working-age Australians on welfare is at its lowest level in 30 years, at 14.3 per cent. By contrast, when we came to government in 2013 that ratio was at 16.5 per cent. Labor's approach is always the same. They talk about how caring they are, but on their watch they simply stand by while more people end up on welfare. By contrast, we are taking practical steps to support Australians on welfare, to create jobs through our $100 billion of investment in infrastructure; through entering into free trade agreements; and through lower taxes on business, because the majority of jobs are private-sector jobs. This is how we're creating jobs, and through innovative programs like Try, Test and Learn, the $96 million program under which the Productivity Bootcamp project in the member's electorate is funded. Our approach is certainty and stability when it comes to getting Australians from welfare into work.