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AASW’s Policy Position on Income Support and Welfare

Parliament House Canberra The AASW has an extensive history of advocating for adequate income support and welfare payments. The United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights states that all people have the right to social security, to an adequate standard of living, and “to the continuous improvement of living conditions” (United Nations, 1976). In accordance with our values of Respect for Persons, Social Justice and Human Rights, we have consistently advocated for an increase in income support payments, to lift them above the poverty line. We have campaigned against the “robodebt” scheme, cashless debit card, drug-testing for welfare recipients, and repeated punitive federal budgets.

Position Statements

Date

Title

July 2014

Position Statement: Income Support and Young People

Policy Submissions

Date

Title

October 2020 Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Continuation of Cashless Welfare) Bill 2020
July 2020 Covid 19 Inquiry Submission

October 2019

Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs Re: Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Income Management to Cashless Debit Card Transition) Bill 2019

October 2019

Submission to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee Re: Centrelink’s compliance program

September 2019

Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs Re: Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2019

September 2019

Submission to the Standing Committee on Community Affairs Re: Adequacy of Newstart and related payments and alternative mechanisms to determine the level of income support payments in Australia

July 2018

Submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Re: Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card Trial Expansion) Bill 2018

April 2018

Submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Re: Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2018

September 2017

Submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee: Social Services Legislation Amendment (Cashless Debit Card) Bill 2017

August 2017

Submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee: Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017

June 2017

Submission to Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment

Re: Higher Education Support Legislation Amendment

March 2017

Submission to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee Re: Design, scope, cost-benefit analysis, contracts awarded and implementation associated with the Better Management of the Social Welfare System initiative

March 2017

Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs Re: Social Services Legislation Amendment (Omnibus Savings and Child Care Reform) Bill 2017

September 2016

Submission to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee Re: Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2016 [Provisions]

January 2016

Submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Re: Social Services Legislation Amendment (Budget Repair) Bill 2015

October 2015

Submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Re: Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment) Bill 2015

October 2015

Submission to the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee Re: Social Security Legislation Amendment (Further Strengthening Job Seeker Compliance) Bill 2015

September 2015

Submission to the Senate Community Affairs Committee Re: Social Security Legislation Amendment (Debit Card Trial) Bill 2015

June 2015

Submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Re: Social Services Legislation Amendment (Youth Employment and Other Measures) Bill 2015

May 2015

Submission to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee Social Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2015

October 2014

Submission to the Senate Education and Employment Legislation Committee Re: Social Security Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Job Seeker Compliance Framework) Bill 2014

August 2014

Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs Re: Inquiry into the extent of income inequality in Australia

August 2014

Submission to the Welfare System Taskforce Re: Interim Report of the Reference Group on Welfare Reform to the Minister for Social Services

Media Releases

Date

Title

21 October, 2019

Cashless debit card especially harmful in small communities, punishes regional Australia, says AASW

10 October, 2019

Centrelink’s debt recovery system is a war on the poor, says AASW

12 September, 2019

AASW strongly opposes Newstart drug testing

3 April, 2019

Increasing income support would have made a better Budget than tax cuts, say Australian social workers

11 May, 2018

Tuesday night’s Budget prioritised hip pocket savings over real help for Australia’s most disadvantaged

2 May, 2018

Federal budget must include provisions to ensure a decent standard of living for all, says AASW

9 May, 2017

Budget further entrenches people into poverty: AASW

3 May, 2017

Balanced budget should not be at vulnerable people's expense

28 February, 2017

AASW condemns Centrelink's release of confidential information

13 January, 2017

Centrelink debt recovery scheme - It’s time to repair our broken welfare system

16 October, 2016

Anti-Poverty Week: Immediate action needed to address entrenched poverty

27 September, 2016

No evidence four week wait for young jobless will help: AASW

21 September, 2016

Priority Investment Approach likely to fail: AASW

16 September, 2016

Omnibus Bill: most vulnerable still affected by low allowances

21 June, 2016

New study reveals students also struggling

3 May, 2016

2016 – 17 Budget: How long will we tolerate keeping people in serious poverty

30 March, 2016

Women and older students most affected by HELP repayment proposal

16 February, 2016

Budget 2016: Now's the time to reform Newstart and Youth Allowance

5 February, 2016

Why Senate should reject removal of Pensioner Education Supplement

19 January, 2016

AASW urges Senate to reject removal of Pensioner Education Supplement

6 August, 2015

Proposed youth allowances legislation flawed

12 May, 2015

2015-16 Budget: It's time to index government allowances to the average male income to end financial hardship

12 May, 2015

2015-16 Budget: Not every Australian will benefit, vulnerable people miss out again

26 February, 2015

McClure reforms fail students

7 October, 2014

Poverty of students a government policy

26 August, 2014

‘Troubling’ survey sparks call to raise student allowances

13 May, 2014

Federal Budget to hit low income families hardest

30 April, 2014

Deficit Levy should be used to increase Newstart Allowance

Other relevant documents

Date

Title

June 2016

National Study of Social Work Students: Briefing Paper - Important emerging findings

April 2016

Letter to government on the low levels of Newstart, Youth, Austudy and Abstudy allowances

February 2016

Briefing: Income Support and Allowances

August 2015

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers