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Evans in a muddle.



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Senator Jocelyn Newman

Minister for Family & Community Services

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women  

5 April 2000

EVANS IN A MUDDLE

Senator Chris Evans has today managed to confuse himself and at the same time confuse and scare parents and carers of children with a disability.

He has succeeded in muddling Carer Payment and Carer Allowance.

Senator Evans comments relate to the Carers Allowance when in fact he is referring to the recent review of the Carers Payment - a totally different payment scheme.

The Government provided this new Carer Payment while at the same time continuing the Carer Allowance (Child), formerly the Child Disability Allowance.

The system that the Coalition Government inherited was unfair and did not fully meet the needs of carers. The new Carer Payment measure addressed the issue that payments to carers of children with profound disabilities did not go far enough.

The measure to extend Carer Payment eligibility to carers of children who have a profound disability was announced in the 1997-1998 Budget and implemented on 1 July 1998.

A review of the Carer Payment initiative was recently completed and as a result of this review the scheme will now be extended.

The review conducted by the Government of this initiative will now make Carer Payment available to an additional 1,000 carers at a cost of $4 million a year over four years.

" The comments by Senator Evans are designed to simply confuse and scare the carers of those most vulnerable in our society," said Senator Newman.

" For Senator Evans to imply that parents of children who may suffer badly from conditions such as epilepsy, diabetes or cystic fibrosis will not receive recognition, or financial assistance to manage their child's disability belies the facts."

"This Coalition initiative has been put in place to give a greater level of support to carers of children with disabilities. This initiative does not specifically exclude any particular disability group."

Before this initiative you could not get the Carer Payment for carers of profoundly disabled children.

Media inquiries: Richard Wilson (02) 6277 7560 or 0419 693092 Damien Mantach (03) 6334 1755 or 0417 216342

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