Both Centrelink and Medicare services will be located a new look Maroochydore Service Centre from Monday 18 May.
Both Centrelink and Medicare services will be located a new look Maroochydore Service Centre from Monday 18 May.

Welfare reforms could force children to be vaccinated

A LANDMARK review of Australia's welfare system is proposing a clean-up of payment types and a plan to link welfare funds to whether children are vaccinated

It has also pushed to tether child payments to whether their immunisations are up to date.

The review touched on the controversial topic, as it referred to changes to youth payments.

Payments would be given per child, increasing as the child grows up, but it would come with strings attached.

It also recommended payments for young people be given directly to their parents until they turned 22 years old.

"It should be conditional on the child or young person having up-to-date immunisations and being in school, education or training, where they have the capacity," the review said.

The review was commissioned by Coalition in December 2013.

It asked former Mission Australia boss Patrick McClure to find ways to save money and encourage people back to work.

The new streamlined payment system would put most Australians on welfare under the "Tiered Working Age" umbrella.

This would include everything from widow allowances, Newstart payments and AUSTUDY.

Social Security Minister Scott Morrison said the report would be considered a guide for welfare reform.

He has told metropolitan media: "Of the 10.1 million Australian income taxpayers, eight million pay that so that we can fund the $150 billion welfare bill this country carries".

Mr Morrison also warned that if the welfare system was not improved, the bill would eventually eclipse the amount raised by personal income tax.

The minister will speak to the National Press Club on Wednesday to discuss the government's response to the report.

If adopted by government, the Working Age payment would cover people with disabilities with three levels of support based on the person's capacity to work.

The top tier would be for those with a disability who can work between eight and 14 hours a week.

The middle tier catch those who can work between 15 and 29 hours a week, or those with children up to the age of 22.

The bottom tier would be for those capable of working or studying full time.
 

Should your view on vaccinations affect whether you receive welfare payments?

This poll ended on 05 March 2015.

Current Results

Absolutely. Your views will cost the health system if your child becomes ill

33%

If it helps ensure children are protected from deadly illnesses, then yes.

25%

No, you only risk isolating these people further and punishing their children

21%

No way, welfare payments are a right. They should not come with conditions.

19%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.


The review found that "the key to simpler architecture is to have fewer primary payment types with varying rates within the primary payments that better reflect different circumstances".

"Many people currently on Newstart allowance would be better off in the new system."

It would mean when lifestyles or situations change, people would not have to be considered under a completely different payment type.

The other four categories would include Age Pension, Supported Living Pension, Carer Payment, and Child and Youth Payment.

The supported living pension would be for those who are unable to work more than eight hours a week, and whose situation is likely to remain for another five years.

Opposition spokeswoman for families and payments Jenny Macklin said the minister needed to rule out any Australians being worse off as a result of this review.

"It looks almost certain that people with disability will be the big losers, as the government moves to push them on to different levels of payments."

 



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