Federal youth minister Kate Ellis ordered the Salvation Army to shelve a report slamming her department's treatment of disadvantaged young people, the Salvos say, apparently because she feared a political backlash among a key constituency in an election year.

The You Think: Your Say report, which surveyed 1,200 young people across the country on their attitudes to government services, was completed last November but only uploaded to the Salvation Army's website on Monday. It is a stinging assessment of the government's approach to disadvantaged youth and flies in the face of Labor's attempts to force under 21s into work or study.