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Carers to miss out.

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Australian Democrats Press Releases

Senator Andrew Bartlett Deputy Parliamentary Leader and Democrats Senator for Queensland Australian Democrats spokesperson for Family & Community Services

Dated: 28 February 2006 Press Release Number: xoxjhvri Portfolio: Family & Community Services

Carers to Miss Out

Democrats Deputy Leader, Senator Bartlett has slammed efforts by the Government to strip away up to $100-million from carers under legislation soon to be debated in the Senate.

"The so called Federal budget-saving measures will effectively deny thousands of dollars in income assistance for those caring for family members with disabilities or serious medical conditions."

"I am concerned that there has been no sound reason at all for these changes from the Government."

"I agree with the point made by Welfare Rights Network that this is an extremely mean spirited measure that comes only a year after the Government was forced to extend eligibility for Carer Allowance (adult), allowing it to be paid to people who did not live with the person being cared for."

"The change will, in some cases halve the amount of back pay that a person is entitled to. This could mean that a person who is providing a valuable caring role for a child with a serious disability could be worse off to the tune of $1,894 which equates to 20 fortnights of Carer Allowance."

"The beneficial backdating of Carer Allowance provisions was there to recognise that that people who were caring for family members with severe disabilities are often unaware of what their entitlements are, and are often busy providing hands on support, rather that contacting Centrelink."

"This is an extremely unjust move by the Government to deny thousands of people rightful entitlements and deny them adequate support which will only add to them being further marginalised," said Senator Bartlett.

The Democrats will move today to have the legislation referred to a Senate committee for an inquiry and public consultation.