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Welfare crackdown admission of failure by Howard Government.

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Welfare crackdown admission of failure by Howard Government

Today’s announcement by the Howard Government of yet another crackdown on abuse of the welfare system is an admission of failure, and a desperate attempt to divert attention from its deceitful and damaging Budget attack on people with disabilities.

The Howard Government has had six year to stamp out fraud and abuse of the welfare system, yet now claims there are still 100,000 people on unemployment benefits who don’t deserve them.

The research being touted by Minister Brough is clearly an attempt to distract attention from the Government’s cowardly Budget plan to slash the pensions of 200,000 Disability Support Pensions by $52 a fortnight.

As revealed by Labor, before the election a wide range of focus groups told the Howard Government the disabled need more help not pension cuts.

As a result, the Howard Government was advised to deceive voters about its plans until after the election.

Now the Government claims new measures aimed at ‘cracking down’ on the unemployed are backed by further research.

The truth is the Government will do whatever it takes to justify its ideological assault on the social safety net. When the research can be used to support the Government’s assault on the disadvantaged it uses it, when it doesn’t, it is ignored.

Every six months for the past six years the Howard Government has come out with new ways of vilifying the unemployed and more lately those with disabilities, yet it has uncovered no more fraud than the previous Labor Government.

For the last six years the conviction rate for welfare fraud has remained static - less than one percent of all recipients.

When it comes to the poor, the Howard Government is only good at finger pointing and scapegoating.

It has no positive plan for the future, just a plan for finding fault.

The Australian people want a fair and compassionate welfare system. The Prime Minister’s own market testing says so.

ENDS Mon 20 May 02 Web:

Contact: Wayne Swan on 0418 795 329 Michael Lye on 0407 012 088

Wayne Swan MP Manager of Opposition Business Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services