The McClure review found the social security and welfare system is complex, lacks coherence across payments, needs a stronger focus on work and could better support people’s transitions over their lifetime.
The minimum single rate of the Newstart allowance is worth $279.50 a week – or $39.93 a day.
In the mid-1990s, Newstart was worth a bit over 23 per cent of average full-time wages. It is currently worth less than 18 per cent of average full-time wages.
There were almost 730,000 people receiving Newstart at the end of June this year.
Around 52 per cent of Newstart recipients, or almost 380,000 people, have been on the payment for less than two years. Many people in this situation may only need to use the payment as a brief stop-gap between jobs.
But a growing number of people are receiving Newstart for two years or more. In 2014, only a third of people on Newstart had been receiving the payment for two years or more or about 230,000 people. That figure is now 48 per cent or about 350,000 people.