PM: Twiggy's welfare proposal "runs well ahead of any plans"

A PROPOSAL to quarantine welfare payments to 2.5 million Australians from alcohol and gambling "runs well ahead of any plans" the Abbott government has, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said today.

The proposal from miner and head of the government's indigenous jobs and training review, Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest, is expected to be released on Friday.

But the report, given to News Ltd publications ahead of time, has recommended "income management" be rolled out to all Australians except those on age pensions and veterans.

Income management has been in practice in the Northern Territory since the intervention, and is already operating in several trial sites around the country including Rockhampton and Logan in Queensland.

But Mr Abbott, in a sign the government is unlikely to act on the headline recommendations of Mr Forrest's report, said it was "bold and ambitious".

He said while income management was already in place in some areas, it was "not a new thing", and the report would be launched on Friday.

Mr Abbott said he wanted to have a "debate" about the report once it was released in full, before the government would proceed with any of the recommendations.

While the report was originally meant to focus on indigenous jobs, Mr Forrest has already reportedly recommended that family tax benefits received by many families outside the general welfare system be linked to school attendance.

Topics:  abbott government alcohol centrelink gambling income management welfare

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