Australia’s welfare budget is heading for a $44 billion blowout by the end of the decade.
The new Social Services Minister Christian Porter has warned that, without major reform, Australia’s welfare budget is heading for a $44 billion blowout by the end of the decade. Currently, welfare expenditure is around $154 billion per year – a figure that is predicted to jump to $198 billion by 2020 as the number of Australians claiming a Disability Support Pension and the Age Pension increases.
Mr Porter made clear that his first priority was to claw back $4 billion in savings by negotiating through the Senate the government's changes to Family Tax Benefits. The Greens have said publicly that they will reject key elements of the changes, which may then force the government to deal with the Labor Party.
Mr Porter indicated that the government has already started to tighten access to the Disability Support Pension.