Yesterday I heard submissions on the Social Security Rewrite Bill. We heard from a range of organisations working with people needing income support, and people who have had to or have to use income support. There were some very emotional moments and I want to pay tribute to those telling their own stories; firstly for their survival and secondly for summoning up the hope to share that experience and give us the opportunity to create a better system.
Did I miss something? Did the Prime Minister say he was going to work with the business and community sectors to create jobs at a living wage for the 27 percent of young people with no jobs? No. But he did promise to privitise the management of youth benefits for profit via a food stamps system.
In the past two days, two significant reports have come out about welfare. I’d like to say that together they provide a comprehensive picture of the welfare debate and the options for reform, but sadly that’s not the case.