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The Age Pension was the first payment made by the Commonwealth Government, dating back to 1909. Except for the mandatory superannuation scheme, workers do not contribute to a pension or insurance scheme in Australia, unlike pension schemes in many other countries. Newstart Allowance is an unemployment benefit paid to unemployed people aged 22 to 64.To be eligible, a person must apply for the benefit and be actively seeking work.Current attitudes toward welfare in Australia can be separated into support for the welfare system and support for welfare recipients.

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As of September 2013, the basic Newstart rate for a single unemployed person without children is A1 per fortnight.However, this basic rate does not include supplement payments which can include Rent Assistance of up to A1.00 per fortnight, and other supplements, such as Pharmaceutical Allowance, Telephone Allowance, Remote Area Allowance, Training Supplement and the Work For The Dole Supplement; which are paid depending on personal circumstances and activity.Rates differ for married couples, registered relationships or de facto couples (including same sex or opposite sex couples) and persons with children.Despite significant increases in the cost of living, the increases to the Newstart Allowance have not kept pace with inflation.These mutual agreements are negotiated between Centrelink, the job seeker and their Job Services Australia provider or Disability Employment Services provider, and are recorded into an Employment Pathway Plan or "EPP".

Activities to which a job seeker may have to agree, in order to continue receiving the Newstart Allowance, include applying for a specific number of jobs (usually ten) per fortnight and recording these applications in a Centrelink issued diary, undertaking vocational education or training, paid work experience, participation in a labour market program or Work for the Dole project, and other activities, such as voluntary work if considered appropriate by Centrelink.the age pension) or where there is little expectation that a person will return to work (e.g. Overall, Australian's hold more negative attitudes toward welfare recipients than they do the welfare system.People with a history of receiving unemployment benefits tend to have more negative welfare attitudes if they live in areas where other community members have more negative attitudes.Clients are not expected to engage in the more intensive of these activities as soon as their receipt of the allowance commences.The amount of activity required on behalf of the client in order to continue receiving his/her benefit is usually staggered as follows: Newstart Allowance rates are adjusted on 20 March and 20 September each year.For example, more elderly customers who have been made redundant and are approaching the age pension age, and who may face considerable difficulties re-entering the labour market, are often permitted to fulfil their plan by engaging in voluntary activities alone.