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More cuts for single parents and the disabled.

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Senator Chris Evans Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Shadow Minister for Social Security

19 May 2005


The admission by the Minister for Workforce Participation that single parents and people with disabilities won't be able to get the Pensioner Education Supplement from next year is yet another blow to these already disadvantaged Australians.

These people, who were already reeling from the Howard Government's decision to slash benefits, now face an additional cut of $62 in fortnightly education assistance.

Thirty thousand single parents and people with disabilities accessed this payment in 2003-04, so that they could get the training they need to help them move into part-time work.

Labor's Shadow Minister for Social Security, Senator Chris Evans, said: 'The Howard Government's decision to cut financial assistance for training exposes its welfare package as a sham.

'If the Howard Government was serious about helping people to move from welfare to work, it would encourage them to undertake training.

'By slashing educational assistance, the Government is doing completely the opposite.

'Cutting payments by $62 a fortnight will reduce the incentive for people on welfare to train, making it even harder for them to escape the welfare trap.

'This cruel cut comes on top of the $77 fortnightly cut in benefits that people with disabilities and single parents will cop after 1 July 2006.

'Labor is seriously concerned that single parents and people with disabilities will no longer be able to train because they won't be able to afford course fees.

'This will make it even harder for them to get work.

'This again shows that the Howard Government still doesn't understand that cutting benefits does nothing to help people on welfare get the skills they need to get a job.'

For further information: John McNamara 0418 308 599