Welfare sector ‘needs private investment’

The federal government wants to make participation in the welfare system more attractive to the private sector, Social Services Minister Scott Morrison says.


Mr Morrison used a speech to the Australian Council of Social Service to urge the expansion of private involvement in the welfare sector.

“It’s not just about charity, it’s about private sector investment in solving social challenges. We need welfare to be a good deal for the private sector,” he told reporters after the speech.

During his speech on Friday to the annual conference in Sydney, Mr Morrison said welfare innovation must include the private sector.

“Our future welfare system must be one with greater community capacity,” he said.

“If we continue to confine our capability to respond to the social challenges of the future just to the tax payers and the state then we will not meet these challenges.

“Partnerships between civil society groups … and the business community will become not only important but critical to expand the service base that is provided,” he said in his speech.

He said welfare must be a good deal for private investment, with good returns to attract investment.

But Greens Leader Richard di Natale said it was easy for government to vacate the welfare sector, and said the government should be going after the big end of town by taking on multi national tax avoidance.

“They’re absolving themselves of responsibility,” he said.

“Government’s role is to ensure we address (income inequality).

“How do we address it, we take on the revenue, we take on the big end of town to ensure that we balance the budget not with one hand behind our back, not by cutting services, but by taking on those vested interests that exist.”