Welfare cuts target young people with disability

Thursday 2 October 2014

People with Disability Australia (PWDA) is angered that budget saving measures will disproportionately impact people with disability yet again.

Measures passed by the House of Representatives today will see the reassessment of people under 35 years of age who receive the disability support pension (DSP) if they became eligible between 2008 and 2011. Those who remain eligible after reassessment will be subject to a stringent program of support requirements. These include unspecified penalties and potential suspension or cancellation of payments for non-compliance.

This reassessment  process may mean reviews for up to 28,000 people currently receiving the DSP, with many of them likely to be moved across to Newstart – $166 per week less. People under 24 years of age moved onto the Youth Allowance will fare even worse. PWDA President Craig Wallace said, “These changes simply create a movement of people from one payment type to another lower one. They won’t create job opportunities or support young people with disability to get into work.”

PWDA advocates that the government shouldn’t be introducing measures to punish people with disability who can’t find work. Instead they should be putting forward proposals to reduce the barriers to employment for people with disability and guarantee their economic security. The measures passed today risk plunging many people with disability deeper into poverty.

“However, it is encouraging that the harsh proposals to change the indexation of pensions from wages to inflation appears to have stalled and was not supported by the Opposition,” said Craig Wallace. “These proposals would have eroded the value of pensions over time, with the greatest impact on the most vulnerable people in our community who have no other source of income.”

MEDIA: Craig Wallace 0413 135 731
Phone: 02 9370 3100 Toll Free: 1800 422 015 Email: pwd@pwd.org.au
People with Disability Australia Incorporated (PWDA) is a national disability rights and advocacy, non-profit, non-government organisation. We have a cross-disability focus, representing the interests of people with all kinds of disability and our membership is made up of people with disability and organisations mainly constituted by people with disability.
Our vision is of a socially just, accessible and inclusive community, in which the human rights, citizenship, contribution, potential and diversity of all people with disability are respected and celebrated.