Joe Hockey on welfare spending:

This year the Australian government will spend on average over $6,000 on welfare for every man, woman and child in the country. 

The Budget shows that total spending on social security and welfare this year will be $140 569 million. Our population is 23.5 million. Divide one number by the other and you arrive at spending of about $6000 per person on social security and welfare, so I think that’s where he got the figure from.

That $6000 per person includes much more than cash benefits, which is what you might think of when you hear the word ‘welfare’. This category of spending includes not only the age, veterans and disability pensions along with other cash benefits, but also aged care, child care, and disability care.

So what do we get for that $6000 per person? Here’s the breakdown:

Spending on social security and welfare per person, 2013-14Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 10.08.35 pm

Source: Spending figures from Budget 2014-15 divided by the population as at June 2014.

Australians pay $6000 each, on average, to provide care to the elderly and veterans, to ensure the unemployed have something to eat, to give people with disability some independence and care. We pay $6000 each to ensure that we live in a civilised place. To me that seems like an extraordinarily good deal.