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Zombie measures dead at last, but social security far from secure

Date published: Tuesday 9 May 2017

Category(ies): Media release

“We welcome the abandonment of the social security ‘zombie budget measures’ that sought to fund budget savings from those who could least afford it,” said Marcia Balzer, Executive Director of Baptist Care Australia.

“These included making young people wait four weeks before receiving income support, and forcing those between 22 and 24 to attempt to live on the lower youth allowance rather than Newstart.

“However, the long term trend is far from positive. Social security is not the least bit secure for Australians struggling to survive.

“New measures announced in the Budget penalise the poorest for being unfortunate enough to be unable to find a job, live in disadvantaged communities, or have a drug and alcohol problem.

“How are they going to live if they fall foul of the government’s new compliance system and lose what little income they have? We already have a very strict compliance system. It’s hard to see how the new approach and increased activity requirements are going to improve the lives and prospects of job seekers.

“Funding for an additional pilot of the cashless debit card will send good money after bad – it’s been shown to be both expensive and ineffective. It’s time to give up on that idea.

“Until the government seriously addresses broader tax reform – including generous superannuation and property investment tax concessions for the wealthiest Australians – the government will not have the funds it needs to support an adequate social security safety net,” Ms Balzer said.

The Baptist Care Australia network serves people in aged care, affected by family violence and homelessness, on low incomes, experiencing relationship breakdown, and affected by multigenerational disadvantage. Services provided include crisis and social housing, out-of-home care for children, counselling, no-interest loan schemes, and other services that help people rebuild their lives or live independently with the right support.


Marcia Balzer, Executive Director, Baptist Care Australia,, 0430 175 310