Perrottet welfare attitudes defy reality

NSW Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet’s attack on welfare support lacks an understanding of the reality of struggle of low and no income families, according to Greens NSW MPs Jan Barham and John Kaye.

Greens NSW Family and Community Services spokesperson Jan Barham said: “Minister Perrottet’s comments linking welfare to family breakdown and declining fertility aren’t supported by the evidence and only serve to stigmatise people the Government should be supporting.

“It’s disappointing that the Minister has allowed ideology to trump evidence in his remarks, especially in a speech that he claimed was about delivering better social policy.

“The attitudes Mr Perrottet expressed show an ignorance of the causes of family breakdown and the importance of supporting people in difficult times.

“The Government needs to look to the wellbeing of all people in our society. Investing in supports for people and families is vital, but just as important is having a safety net in place for when people’s circumstances leave them vulnerable.

“Minister Perrottet should work with his colleagues in Government to ensure that early intervention is available to address the real causes and consequences of disadvantage and dysfunction, rather than falsely laying the blame on the welfare system itself,” Ms Barham said.

Greens NSW Finance spokesperson John Kaye said: “The Minister’s ill-informed views are not compatible with his task of running the state’s finances.

“Despite OECD-published evidence to the contrary, Mr Perrottet asserts that welfare support for the elderly and single-supporting mothers contribute to declining fertility and rising divorce rates.

“Apart from a frightening absence of empathy for the plight of children in single parent homes and the elderly who are struggling to make ends meet, the most alarming aspect of the Minister’s speech was his failure to respond to evidence.

“Managing agencies with multi-billion dollar turnovers and exerting substantial influence over the state’s public finances require a far greater commitment to evidence and empathy than Minister Perrottet displayed last night,” Dr Kaye said.

For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455; Jan Barham 0447 853 891