Aussies on welfare payments balloons by 70 per cent

The number of Australians receiving the dole has ballooned by around 70 per cent in the last ten years with one in five people now claiming welfare.

The Daily Telegraph reports the country's welfare bill is rapidly approaching $200 billion a year with the number of Australians claiming the dole up to 768,375 in March this year, up from 453,793 2005.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter said there were still people flying under the radar and that the dole system needed to be tightened up.

“It’s clear there are too many people in the welfare system with the capacity to work,’’ Porter said. "We need to find a better way of helping people become self-reliant.”

“Even inside the Newstart system there is room to reform the mutual obligation process.”

Payments coming under the welfare budget system are projected to increase from $158.6 billion this financial year to $191.8 billion in 2019-20 with the total number of recipients from 2005-2015 increasing from 4.4 million to 5.2 million.

Porter said the government is attempting to encourage people to seek out work rather than live off the taxpayer.

“Part of what the government has sought to achieve is to identify people who have a fair and reasonable capacity to work, but who are on a payment type that imposes no real obligation on them to search for work, and have those individuals move to the Newstart system where there are obligations,’’ Porter told The Daily Telegraph.