Social Services Minister Christian Porter has broken an age-old adage in pursuit of a drastic overhaul of Australia's welfare system, urging people to trust him.
The federal government continues to cop flak over plans to subject new welfare recipients to random drug tests and threaten those who persistently shirk job-seeking obligations with a demerit point penalty system.
"I think that people can trust us that this is all for the good of individual members and people inside the welfare system whose lives at the moment are not being improved because the system is failing," he said on Monday.
He added: "It is not a very difficult system to game at the moment because of its intense complexity."
Some 100,000 job seekers were persistently missing required appointments, half of whom had no significant barriers to securing work, he said.
People were passively sitting within a web of working-age payments without getting the help they needed, and "extraordinarily" those aged over 55 weren't required to search for employment.
Mr Porter said the number of job-seekers getting fixed-period exemptions because of drug and alcohol use had nearly doubled over the past five years to 5500 people.
And the number of times drug and alcohol issues were used as an excuse for not showing up for appointments including job interviews had increased by 131 per cent in a year to 4325 instances.
In a bid to "encourage and support" people into work, he wants to fold seven payments into one and redraft mutual obligation requirements.
"And we will finally, after years of dysfunction, introduce a completely new compliance framework that ensures the problems that we've seen in the past do not persist," the minister said.