The PM has announced some welcome reforms:
- Part-time work obligations for DPB recipients whose youngest child is aged six or over (to be referred to as the Phil U clause)
- Part-time work obligations for people on a Sickness Benefit who have been assessed as being able to work part time
- More graduated sanctions for people who don’t comply with their work obligations such as a reduction in benefit rather than just cancellation
- An increase in the amount that people on the DPB and Invalids Benefit can earn each week, without affecting their benefit, from $80 to $100
- Change the rules around the Unemployment Benefit so it can only be granted for a 12-month period, and then one has to reapply and undergo a comprehensive work assessment
- More frequent reassessment for people on the Sickness Benefit
Now these are not radical reforms. But they are good sold steps in the right direction, reinforcing that welfare should generally be temporary assistance, not a lifestyle choice.