Senate debates

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Questions without Notice

Pensions and Benefits

2:32 pm

Photo of Mitch FifieldMitch Fifield (Victoria, Liberal Party, Minister for Communications and the Arts) Share this | Hansard source

As I said, the government is building a stronger economy and a stronger budget so that we can fund the services that Australian families depend on. Through payments such as the family tax benefit, we are supporting families fairly and sustainably. The government spends over $18 billion on FTB annually, assisting over 1.4 million families.

When Australians need help, our social system is there in place. It's one of the most comprehensive and targeted in the world. We lead the OECD in means-testing welfare payments. Australians on the lowest 20 per cent of incomes receive the highest amount of social assistance benefits, at an average of $517 per week. This is more than 18 times the amount received by those on the highest 20 per cent of incomes, at an average of $28 per week. This government has the balance right.

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