The Albanese Labor Government’s new Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee will meet this week to begin its important work in helping to address disadvantage and boost economic participation.
An interim committee of 14 members has been established comprising the nation’s leading economists, academics, philanthropists and community advocates. The committee will hold its first meeting today, Friday December 16.
Its primary functions will be to provide advice on economic inclusion including policy settings, systems and structures, and the adequacy, effectiveness and sustainability of income support payments ahead of every Federal Budget.
The committee will also look at options to reduce barriers and disincentives to work, including in relation to social security and employment services. Further, it will explore options for tailored responses to address barriers to economic inclusion for long term unemployed and disadvantaged groups, including place-based approaches at the local level.
The committee will consider the Government’s fiscal strategy, existing policies and the long-term sustainability of the social security system as it undertakes its work.
The work of the committee will be informed by input from Treasury, the Department of Social Services and the Department of Finance. Importantly, it progresses the Albanese Labor Government’s guiding principles to create a better Australia by leaving no one behind and holding no one back.
Regular meetings will be held at least every quarter with the high level findings of the Committee’s pre-Budget review – while not binding on the Government – to be publicly released at least two weeks prior to the Budget being handed down.
The Albanese Government has already worked hard to address disadvantage and promote inclusion in our economy including through the Jobs and Skills Summit where we announced a new policy to make it easier for pensioners to work more hours without losing their pension, through improvements to employment services to better support people with disability to find employment, and by investing in Paid Parental Leave to give more families access to the payment and provide parents greater flexibility in how they take leave.
The interim committee will ensure we’re able to build on that work in the next Budget of the Albanese Government.
The role of the permanent advisory committee will be legislated in 2023.
TREASURER JIM CHALMERS:
This is all about how we create more opportunities for more people in more parts of Australia.
We want more Australians to share in the benefits of a stronger, more inclusive economy.
I’m looking forward to engaging with this really impressive group of people to explore ways to tackle disadvantage in our communities in a responsible, meaningful way.
SOCIAL SERVICES MINISTER AMANDA RISHWORTH:
This committee brings together a diverse range of experts to give important advice to Government in tackling systemic disadvantage and economic inclusion, including examining the adequacy of income support payments.
The interim committee announced today will ensure we hit the ground running in the lead-up to the next Budget in May to give ourselves the best possible chance to make a difference.
We need to look at addressing complex social problems and entrenched disadvantage in new and innovative ways and this committee will help bring some of the creative solutions to deal with the systems and structures that are barriers for those facing disadvantage.
The Hon Jenny Macklin (CHAIR)
Former Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs; and Minister for Disability Reform. Responsible for major policy reforms relevant to the work of the committee including the first National Paid Parental Leave Scheme, improvements to pensions, and the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Prof. Peter Whiteford (ANU)
Professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy at the ANU and Adjunct Professor with the Social Policy Centre at UNSW. He has published extensively on income support and has previously been involved in relevant reviews. For instance, he was a member of the Reference Group for the Harmer Review of the Australian pension system and was a keynote speaker at the Melbourne Institute-Australia’s Future Tax and Transfer Policy Conference held in June 2009 as part of the Henry Review of Australia’s Future Tax System.
Prof. Jeff Borland (Melbourne)
Truby Williams Professor of Economics, focussed on labour market. His main research interests are analysis of labour markets in Australia and program and policy evaluation and design. His research on the Australian labour market has included projects on unemployment, earnings inequality, the effects of technology and trade, the effects of activity test arrangements and the youth labour market.
Prof. Bob Breunig (ANU)
Director of the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the ANU. He is one of Australia’s leading public policy economists and regularly works with government.
Prof. Kay Cook (Swinburne)
Kay Cook is a Professor in the Department of Social Sciences at Swinburne University. Her work explores how new and developing social policies such as welfare-to-work, child support and child care policies, transform relationships between individuals, families and the state. Her work seeks to make the personal impact of these policies explicit in order to provide tangible evidence to policy makers to affect more humanistic reform.
Dr Angela Jackson (Impact Economics and Policy)
Lead economist at Impact Economics and Policy, with expertise in distributional analysis, labour markets, disability, health, gender, and fiscal policy.
Ben Phillips (ANU)
Associate Professor at the ANU College of Arts and Sciences. Ben's expertise is in the development of micrsosimulation models for the purpose of analysing tax and transfer systems. Ben also has broad experience in economic modelling, economics statistics and public policy in Australia. Ben worked at the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling for 10 years and undertook a broad range of analysis in areas such as modelling the introduction of a GST, carbon price and analysis of the Federal Budget.
Cassandra Goldie (ACOSS)
Cassandra is the CEO of ACOSS and has a strong focus on the adequacy of payments and the quality of life for people on payment.
Travers McLeod (Brotherhood of St Laurence)
Travers is the Executive Director of BSL, and he began his career in public law. BSL focuses on working with people experiencing disadvantage to address the fundamental causes of poverty in Australia.
Sally McManus (ACTU)
Sally is the 10th Secretary of the ACTU.
Jennifer Westacott AO (BCA)
Jennifer has served as Chief Executive of BCA since 2011, bringing a unique combination of extensive policy experience in both the public and private sectors.
Matthew Cox (The Bryan Foundation)
Matthew joined The Bryan Foundation in February 2022 following six years as founding Executive Director of one of Australia’s largest child development programs, Logan Together. Widely regarded for pioneering the use of collective impact approaches to make large-scale community change, Matthew established Logan Together after spending over a decade leading the Red Cross’ human services program in Queensland. He currently serves on the boards of several child development programs and social change initiatives around Australia and is also Co-Chair of the Early Years Initiative in Western Australia.
Emily Carter (CEO of Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre)
The MWRC supports Fitzroy Valley women and their families by encouraging safety and well-being, fostering leadership and financial independence. MWRC provides activities, mentoring, support, access to culturally sensitive and respectful services, and advocacy.
Leah Van Poppel (Chair of Victorian NDIS Community Advisory and a member of the NDIS Independent Advisory Council)
On top of her current roles with the Victorian NDIS Community Advisory and NDIS Independent Advisory Council, Leah has held various governance roles in the not for profit sector, including within disability and gender-based organisations.
Ray Griggs AO CSC (Secretary Department of Social Services)
Dr Steven Kennedy PSM Dr (Secretary to the Treasury)