The terms of reference for the Welfare Working Group specifically precluded them from looking at superannuation and Working for Families, but here’s a chart showing Treasury stats for total social assistance spending for the ’09 financial year:
I guess if you exclude super and WFF then the DPB really jumps out at you. Holy Cow! We need to lock that down! So we have a discussion about ‘how many solo Mothers really need assistance?’ But we pay super to anyone over the age of 65. Own millions of dollars in property and investments? You’re still eligible for superannuation. Working and earning a good income? You’re still eligible for superannuation. Seems like there might be room for efficiency gains there, don’tcha think?
The other problem with reforming welfare for people like invalids and solo Mothers is that getting them off benefits is contingent on them finding jobs (obvious but still seemingly beyond the keen of the WWG), and thus training them and so on, not to mention the social costs and administrative overheads of such a policy . But if you cut superannuation payments to the wealthiest 1% of super recipients you save $77 million dollars a year overnight with almost no fiscal costs, secure in the knowledge that the people losing their benefits are still far more privileged than everyone else in the country.
But of course there would be dire political consequences which is why we’re talking about invalids and teenage mums instead.