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Gash welcomes Welfare to Work changes for Gilmore.



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PRESS RELEASE

Joanna Gash MP Member for Gilmore 10 November 2005 GASH WELCOMES WELFARE TO WORK CHANGES

FOR GILMORE

Member for Gilmore, Joanna Gash has welcomed changes to the Welfare to Work package.

Mrs Gash said she had been involved in numerous discussions over the last week in regard to the Welfare to Work program and how it would affect the people of Gilmore.

Mrs Gash said many changes had been made to modify certain areas and those changes were a win for the people of Gilmore.

"The Prime Minister has heard my concerns about the original position in regard to a lack of public transport and the higher than average Gilmore unemployment rate," Mrs Gash said.

"We believe the best form of welfare is a job and so do the many people I have spoken to who will be affected by this legislation.

"However, we have to find jobs and that is why we are backing projects like Blueprint Shoalhaven, in conjunction with the State Government and Shoalhaven City Council."

Modifications to the $3.6 billion Welfare to Work package include allowing parents to stay on Parenting Payment Single until their youngest child turns eight and providing a top-up payment for primary carers who are registered foster carers, facilitating distance educators or providing home schooling.

The changes made for Gilmore will also include:

" No cap on disability job placement places " More funding to encourage employers to employ people with disabilities " Under job seeker obligations; no more than 10% of wage can be spent on travel. " Extra New Enterprise Incentive Scheme positions for home-based industries. " People already on the parenting payment and Disability Support Pension will remain on current payment levels.

"I am confident the new eligibility rules and the suitability of jobs test will further ease the transition for parents moving from welfare towards financial independence," Mrs Gash said.

"After justifiable debate and considered reorganisation, we now have a sensible and practical package and one that will work for the people of Gilmore."

Mrs Gash also said changes in regard to disability trusts were good news for Gilmore families. The package, worth some $200 million, will allow ageing parents of children with disabilities, amongst other things, to establish private trusts of up to $500,000 for the future care of their children without being affected by social security, gifting and means testing.

Mrs Gash said this is a very significant structural change.

"It will affect many families with ageing parents who wish to sell a large home and downsize on the basis that their disabled child might go into some other kind of residence," Mrs Gash said.

Under existing arrangements, the money provided for that other residence would be deemed a continuing asset and be caught by the means or assets tests. That will no longer be the case when these new arrangements come into operation from September 2006.

"Should anyone have any concerns about any of this legislation, I urge them to call me at the office," Mrs Gash said.

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