Opposition leader Bill Shorten looks on during an address to the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) National Conference in Brisbane today. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Opposition leader Bill Shorten looks on during an address to the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) National Conference in Brisbane today. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) DAVE HUNT

Government 'attack' on welfare distorts destiny of people

IN FRONT of Australia's most respected charities and social service groups, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten described how the government's attack on welfare "distorts the domestic destiny of hundreds of thousands of Australian families".

Addressing the Australian Council of Social Service in Brisbane on Thursday, Mr Shorten said Australia's risked failing its most vulnerable, the sick and the poor.

"Right now more than one in four Australians are classified as casual employees," he said.

"We know that we need a system in place that looks at the hidden problems of the 21st century - loneliness, a loss of community, mental illness and exclusion."

Meanwhile, in front of a vastly different audience at the Sydney Institute on Wednesday night, Treasurer Joe Hockey said fairness was about all Australians paying their share.

He said the government spent about $6000 per year on welfare for every man, woman and child.

"In other words the average working Australian, be they a cleaner, a plumber or a teacher, is working over one month full-time teach year just to pay for the welfare of another Australian," he said.

"Is that fair?"

The Treasurer said 10% of the country paid nearly two-thirds of all income tax.

"Maybe these taxpayers would argue that the tax system is already unfair."


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