Migrants to Australia might be in for a surprise as the bill containing the proposal for increasing the waiting time for accessing the welfare benefits has been introduced in the Parliament. If the same is passed, then the migrants who come to Australia after July 2019 will have to wait for three years before they become eligible for any welfare benefits provided by the government. The waiting time has been 2 years since 1997 and this is the first time when some change has been proposed.
If Social Services Minister Dan Tehan statement is to be considered, then the increase in the time period of wait will help in cutting costs by the government which in turn will fuel the existence of the whole welfare system structure. The change has been proposed to ensure the stability of welfare payment system. He also believes that 3 years is a sufficient period of time when a migrant can support himself or herself by their jobs when first arriving in Australia. Also, the extended time will make him or her more self-sufficient.
This increased time will apply to benefits available to migrants such as access low-income and senior concession cards, plus bereavement, widow, parenting and carer payments. The extended period shall also apply on benefits like paid parental leave, the Carers Allowance, and the Family Tax Benefit. Some exceptions will be there like for humanitarian entrants and New Zealanders as their benefits would continue.
The cut in benefits is expected to help the government save a handsome amount of approximately $1.3 billion over the next four years.