Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Howard Government says: People with a disability should work for $2:27 an hour.

Download PDFDownload PDF

Media Release

Penny Wong Labor Senator for South Australia Shadow Minister for Employment and Workforce Participation, Corporate Governance

Tuesday 13 September, 2005


The Howard Government's welfare changes have lost all credibility, with new research showing that people with a disability will have an effective return from work of $2.27 an hour and be up to $122 a week worse off.

These are the findings of a new study, released today, by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM), an organisation the Prime Minister has described as "independent", "objective", and "respected."

The Howard Government will claw back up to 75 cents of every dollar earned by people with a disability, making work far less financially rewarding than it is now.

"Under these incompetent changes there will actually be far less reason for people with a disability to work than there is now," said Shadow Employment Minister, Senator Penny Wong.

"The Prime Minister should explain why he thinks people with a disability should only get 25 cents of every dollar they earn. Does anyone believe that John Howard would work for $2.27 an hour?

"John Howard would be at home, with his feet up, watching re-runs of The Sullivans.

"Only a government that is completely out of touch could propose such incompetent and extreme changes. But we shouldn't be surprised.

"While the Howard Government tells people with a disability to work, it has reduced the proportion of people with a disability it employs from 5.6% to 3.8%."

"The evidence shows that people are more likely to move from welfare to work with the right help and financial incentives."

Senator Wong urged the Government to reconsider the Welfare to Work Tax Bonus proposed by Labor at the Budget, which would make work more worthwhile by increasing the tax-free threshold to $10,000 for people earning under $20,000.

For further information: • John Olenich - 02 6277 5789 or 0408 841 850