Disability Move Won’t Create Jobs -NFP
6 October 2014 at 10:31 am
Up to 28,000 Australians currently receiving the disability support pension could be moved onto Newstart, meaning they will receive $166 less per week, a national disability rights group has said.
People with Disability Australia (PWDA) President Craig Wallace said budget saving measures passed by the House of Representatives this week would disproportionately impact people with a disability.
He said the measures would see the reassessment of people under 35 years of age who receive the disability support pension (DSP) if they became eligible between 2008 and 2011.
Those who remain eligible after reassessment will be subject to a stringent program of support requirements. These include unspecified penalties and potential suspension or cancellation of payments for non-compliance.
This reassessment process may mean reviews for up to 28,000 people currently receiving the DSP, with many of them “likely” to be moved across to Newstart – $166 per week less.
People under 24 years of age moved onto the Youth Allowance will fare even worse Wallace said.
"These changes simply create a movement of people from one payment type to another lower one,” Wallace said.
“They won't create job opportunities or support young people with disability to get into work."
Wallace said that PWDA was advocating that the government not introduce measures to punish people with disability who could not find work.
He said that the Government should instead be putting forward proposals to reduce the barriers to employment for people with disability and guarantee their economic security, with the measures passed last week risking plunging many people with disability deeper into poverty.
"However, it is encouraging that the harsh proposals to change the indexation of pensions from wages to inflation appears to have stalled and was not supported by the Opposition," he said.
"These proposals would have eroded the value of pensions over time, with the greatest impact on the most vulnerable people in our community who have no other source of income."
As previously reported by Pro Bono Australia, Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews said that the Government had agreed to split its contentious welfare bills into four separate bills so that changes supported by Labor or the Greens can be pushed through the Senate.
“Labor and the minor parties irresponsibly sought to delay measures that they actually supported for three months – that has already come at a cost to the Budget, it is reckless and irresponsible behaviour,” Andrews said.
“We have always said that we will work cooperatively, purposefully and methodically with other parties to pass our Budget measures.”