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Since the Howard government and the liberal party came to power in Australia the welfare state has been rolled back and conditions for obtaining state assistance have greatly expanded This has been due in part to the Commonwealth governments attempt to reduce their financial commitments to the Australian people coupled with an ideological shift towards individual responsibility and privatisation The citizenship theory which underpins the social welfare system in Australia and its underlying principles have been rolled back The citizenship theory posits that the welfare state is bound by a conception of what a full member of the community is and the promotion of necessary rights to protect and sustain that social membership Citizenship theory provides that citizens have a social right to welfare which the community is obligated to provide The three major policy goals of the welfare state and citizenship theory have been equality altruism and needs based welfare rights which have begun to be rolled back through welfare reform policies as opposed to the 2003 commonwealth budget Although there are roll backs in welfare state funding evident in the 2003 budget including The Government decision to repeal the Student Financial Supplement Scheme Indigenous Parenting and Family Wellbeing payments have been reduced Centrelink Service Delivery for child support has been reduced Payments in relation to disability assistance have been reduced Commonwealth State Housing Agreement CSHA expenditure has been reduced by a massive 98 million A comparison of the 2002-2003 and the 2003-2004 commonwealth budget expenditures by function clearly highlights that Social Security and Welfare Education and Health expenditure have all increased from 2002-2003 expenditures Social Security and Welfare expenditure has increased by 3692 Billion Education expenditure has increased by 818 Million Health expenditure has increased by 1991 Billion While it can be seen that the welfare state expenditure has increased consideration must be given to the fact that the main driver for growth in
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