13 March 2023, Guardian Australia, Paul Karp. Access the full article here.
Participation requirements welfare recipients must fulfil each month to continue... system subjects some participants to ‘punitive conditions’, commonwealth ombudsman says
Australia’s mutual obligation system for welfare risks “subjecting disadvantaged participants to unreasonably onerous and punitive conditions”, the commonwealth ombudsman has warned.
The ombudsman made the submission to a Senate inquiry, which has already recommended a major overhaul of the controversial A "pre employment" program targeting single parents with children under the age ... program, and revealed that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants were fined at almost double their rate of participation.
Indigenous participants “incurred a higher rate (33%) of payment suspensions than their proportion of the ParentsNext caseload (18%)”, according to the employment department’s submission.
Employment services survey
The Punishment for Profit report is based on hundreds of responses to surveys conducted by the Antipoverty Centre. This research is ongoing. If you are in Workforce Australia, Disability Employment Services or a similar program, we welcome any information you are able to share about your experiences.