The Australian welfare state system

With special reference to welfare conditionality – the case of the income management system

Authored by: Philip Mendes

The Routledge International Handbook to Welfare State Systems

Print publication date:  January  2017
Online publication date:  January  2017

Print ISBN: 9781472449306
eBook ISBN: 9781315613758
Adobe ISBN: 9781317041085


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Australia possesses one of the most selective income support systems in the Western industrialized world. Financial assistance is provided on a flat rate basis, funded from general taxation revenue rather than via contributions from workers and employers. In contrast to many European states, Australia did not introduce social insurance schemes whereby those who experience unemployment or sickness are protected by income replacement packages. Rather, its welfare payments are mostly means-tested, targeted to the poor and low in monetary value (Whiteford, 2010a).

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