Children of parents on Centrelink benefits are almost twice as likely to be on benefits themselves by their early 20s as children who are not, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The researchers from the Universities of Melbourne and Sydney were granted unprecedented access to the lifetime payment records of 124,285 young Australians born between October 1987 and March 1988.
They examined their payment status at the ages of 18, 20 and 26, and hope to do so again at the age of 30.
They found that 32 per cent of the children born to parents not in receipt of benefits were themselves on some sort of benefit by the ages of 18 to 26. But among those born to parents who were on benefits, the proportion was almost twice as high at 58 per cent, a ratio of 1.8 to 1.
The effect was the most pronounced for the children of parents on single-parent benefits and disability and carer payments.
Young people who had grown up with parents who received disability mental health payments received 2.4 times the amount of social assistance as their peers who had grown up in families that did not receive them, and 4 times the assistance of children who grew up in families with no history of social assistance at all.
Young people who had grown up with a parent on the single parenting payment received 2.2 times the assistance of other young.
In contrast, young people who had grown up in families receiving Newstart or the partnered-parent benefits received just 1.5 to 1.7 times as much assistance as other people later in life.
‘Staggering’: Young people twice as likely to be on Centrelink benefits if their parents were (Sydney Morning Herald)