income support

The term income support payment refers to all government allowances, including all working age payments and the age pension. This term is used interchangeably with welfare and social security.

The purpose of income support should be to ensure the health and wellbeing of all – this is the meaning of “welfare”, which we use in its positive sense. It should not be ceded to those who use it as a pejorative and seek to deprive welfare recipients of our basic rights.

In this report, welfare recipient is used in a narrow sense to mean a person who relies on an income support payment as their primary income or to supplement employment income that does not exceed the eligibility threshold. In this context it does not refer to people who receive other forms of cash welfare, such as Family Tax Benefit, or non-cash welfare programs like the NDIS, Medicare and education.

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