Coalition warned welfare overhaul could worsen homelessness

The government’s planned changes to the welfare system risk pushing more vulnerable Australians into homelessness, a Victorian body has warned.

The Senate is expected to this week consider a planned overhaul of Australia’s welfare system, designed to simplify payments and change the jobseeker compliance regime.

The changes are designed to save the federal government hundreds of millions of dollars and have already drawn the ire of welfare advocacy groups, including the Australian Council of Social Services.

On Monday, the Council to Homeless Persons in Victoria expressed its own concerns about aspects of the bill, which it fears will exacerbate homelessness.

The CHP is particularly worried about plans to delay the start date of welfare payments for some jobseekers.

The government plans to save $198m by delaying the start date of certain Newstart and Youth Allowance payments until a person first meets with an employment services provider. The start date for payments is currently considered the day on which the claim is lodged.

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