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Income management and disability support cuts on the Government's agenda



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18 November 2013

Income management and disability support cuts on the Government’s agenda

The Australian Greens said today that the Government’s increasingly hard-line approach to vulnerable people could have a severe impact on Australians relying on the disability support payment.

“Yet again, the Government is looking to save money at the expense of some of Australia’s poorest people, considering moves to cut the payments of people with disabilities by dumping them onto Newstart,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on families and community services said today.

“The previous Government tightened the eligibility rules for the disability support pension, which saw many new applicants dumped onto Newstart. Now the Coalition looks like going even further. This cost-cutting exercise would see people receive a significant drop in income support, with the maximum single rate of Newstart $125.35 per week below the disability support pension.

“It is totally inappropriate for people with disabilities to be put on Newstart, when we know that the rate of payment is inadequate and that job services are failing to help people into work.

“As if this situation wasn’t concerning enough, the Government is also continuing to discuss plans to expand income management, despite the fact this regime is unproven, punitive and expensive.

“We don’t know who the Government is planning to target with income management, they could be jobseekers, single parents, carers, people with disabilities, young people or those living in disadvantaged areas.

“Rather than committing more money to this wasteful scheme, the Government should invest in improving job services, training and employment opportunities to help people, including people with disabilities, find secure work,” Senator Siewert concluded.