Federal Government signals radical overhaul to welfare

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Minister for Social Services Christian Porter addresses the National Press Club of Australia in Canberra.

Minister for Social Services Christian Porter addresses the National Press Club of Australia in Canberra. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The Australian Unemployed Workers Union's president has hit back at the Federal Government's plans to overhaul the welfare system, saying they have "spectacularly failed" to fix the jobs crisis.

The government has signalled plans to bring down the $160 billion welfare bill. 

But the union's Owen Bennett told Tony Jones on 3AW Mornings the biggest problem is that there's not enough jobs to go around.

"The problem here is that they never really address what is the alternative to people being on social security," he said.

"This is just a really tired old approach the government is taking where they are trying to blame poor people for not being able to find jobs that aren't even there."

Click PLAY to hear Mr Bennett on 3AW Mornings:

Social Services Minister Christian Porter said the welfare system was complicated and rejected the push for the Newstart allowance to be increased.

"There are so many payments, supplements, add ons and bonuses, it's so complicated and what gets obscured and lost is that only five per cent of the 770,000 people on Newstart allowance just receive Newstart," he said.

"The others receive at least one (other payment), quite often two on top of Newstart," he said.

Click PLAY to hear Mr Porter on 3AW Mornings with Tony Jones:

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