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Compensation cut for injured troops.

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DEMOCRATS MEDIA 05/087 FRIDAY 25 FEBRUARY 2005 SENATOR ANDREW BARTLETT AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS SPOKESPERSON ON VETERANS AFFAIRS COMPENSATION CUT FOR INJURED TROOPS It is appalling that the Prime Minister is sending more troops to Iraq while is cutting back on compensation payments should they be injured, say the Australian Democrats. “With a sweep of the pen, the Prime Minister has decided that a range of spinal and lower limb impairments will be ineligible for compensation,” Democrats Veterans Affairs spokesperson Senator Andrew Bartlett said. “The Government is also backdating the change by one year, so that many military and commonwealth personnel injured last year and who were expecting compensation for their injuries will not be paid.” From 1 March changes to the "Guide to the Assessment of the Degree of Permanent Impairment" will mean impairments which are currently rated at 10% will now only be rated 5%, and many ADF personnel as well as Commonwealth employees and Telstra and Australia Post staff will not be eligible for compensation. The changes to the Impairment Guide will significantly downgrade the recognition of spinal and mobility injuries so that injured military personnel or public servants will not be able to claim any compensation. “This is the second attack on people with disabilities in a week. Just this week the Welfare Blueprint was presented to Cabinet which aims to prevent thousands of Australians with a disability and unable to work from claiming disability support pension. “Now we have a Government which decides that its armed forces and public servants who incur life-long and serious injuries in the course of their work will not be considered to be impaired. “This Government recruits fit and healthy young Australians and then refuses to look after them when they are injured,” Senator Bartlett concluded. Media Contact- Andrew Bartlett - 0418 743 789