Social Security Law: What Does the Politics of 'Conditional Welfare' Mean for Review and Client Representation?

By Carney, Terry | Australian Journal of Social Issues, Spring 2011 | Go to article overview

Social Security Law: What Does the Politics of 'Conditional Welfare' Mean for Review and Client Representation?


Carney, Terry, Australian Journal of Social Issues


Introduction

Nothing stands still in social security law, administration, or policy. We live in an ever-changing social, economic and political environment, as detailed in recent research and official intergenerational reports (Marston et al. 2010; Tepe & Vanhuysse 2010; Treasury 2010).

Not only has the world of work altered, fragmenting and casualising the once dominant 'standard employment relation' of permanent full-time work at standard hours (western-Europe aside), but technological and demographic shifts bring into question economic assumptions behind prevailing programs (for example, the sustainability of current models of residential aged care provision) and alter the politics of welfare (see Walker 2002), which discusses UK changes). For example the voting power and heightened expectations of the now ageing baby boom population cohort has resulted in increasing emphasis on choice and respect for individual autonomy in the crafting of welfare services. It may well also account for the disproportionate share of fiscal welfare accruing to this generation in the form of tax exemptions on retirement incomes (or earlier, the largest fiscal welfare tax-concession distortions to encourage superannuation, running at 26 billion in 2009: Stebbing & Spies-Butcher 2010: 592). Conditional social security, which curtails or removes the freedom to spend associated with cash provision, or which imposes onerous lifestyle or other conditions of eligibility (such as imposing education or drug treatment requirements), is one politically popular outcome of such changes.

Human rights influences, such as the shift towards 'supported decision-making' of people with cognitive incapacity, and welfare program reforms giving direct client control of funds previously delivered only as state-provided services, as encouraged by principles of individual choice enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006 'CRPD'), are also increasingly shaping welfare policy. One example is the provision of fungible welfare in the form of an individual budget (the so-called 'personal budget' approach) instead of access to standardised state delivery of aged and disability services (Needham 2011). This transformation puts pressure on more neglected aspects of social security law, such as payment and correspondence nominee provisions which empower third parties to make decisions for another person, or receive a copy of Centrelink correspondence; provisions currently drafted in unduly open ended terms (for example, FA(A)A 1999 s219TD) and administered with a paternalism more befitting of the 1950s than 2011, despite some limited progressive guidance from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) (Re Henderson 2008; Re Boyling 2009). It also calls into question the way welfare currently interfaces poorly with state and territory adult guardianship laws (Carney 2012, forthcoming). Federalist issues too are rising in prominence in some areas, as state or territory agencies seek to maximise their revenue/authority, especially as social security income conditionality 'knits' with state agencies responsible for areas such as child protection or assessments of 'vulnerability', without sufficient regard to levels of required resourcing or protocols for review of referral decisions.

This paper reflects on aspects of the likely future directions of social security, particularly what is termed 'conditional welfare'--such as the restrictions able to be placed on the permissible expenditure of Australian social security payments for some indigenous and other social security recipients, a scheme known within Australia as 'welfare quarantining' (Billings 2010)--and its implications for client rights, representation and public policy accountability. In the next section the article considers the rising reliance on conditional welfare and related measures such as 'linked', localised (or 'place-based') welfare, and the increasing complexity of welfare discretions. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Social Security Law: What Does the Politics of 'Conditional Welfare' Mean for Review and Client Representation?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.