By RAY OWEN
THE McClure Report into welfare reform in Australia has won provisional approval from the Catholic Church’s peak bodies.
The St Vincent de Paul Society, Australian Catholic Social Welfare Commission and Centacare Australia have welcomed the report’s broad thrust, but have some reservations about how it might be implemented.
The report says the existing welfare system is too fragmented and calls for more intensive services to help people move off welfare, including financial incentives.
It calls for mutual obligation, under which welfare recipients “give something back” to the community, to be extended beyond traditional categories of the unemployed.
Mission Australia director Patrick McClure chaired a committee which produced the welfare reform blueprint.
Under the report’s recommendations, most welfare recipients would be compelled to take part in education, training and job searches. There would be new requirements for sole parents and people with disabilities.