The Australian Greens said today that the Federal Government’s increasingly cruel cost cutting regime was now targeting vulnerable people with disabilities.
“I’m deeply concerned that this is about cost savings and not about genuinely helping people with disability. The Government has released a loose, poorly formed policy idea targeting people with disabilities just days before Christmas,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Disability said today.
“Moves to reduce or restrict access to important income support payments like the Disability Support Pension will harm the people in the community who can least afford it.
“There are already strict rules in place for accessing the DSP. The former ALP Government tightened the impairment tables used to determine DSP eligibility in 2012, saving $457 million off the back of people with disabilities. Now the Coalition is looking to go further.
“I am very concerned that this approach people will see people facing a significantly increased risk of poverty as they are dumped people onto the lower Newstart Allowance. Reducing and restricting access to the DSP is about saving money, not getting people into work.
“We know that the supports available through employment support services do not address the varied needs of many jobseekers, including people with disability.
“The Government’s poorly formed policy response for people with disability is to look at punitive measures to reduce the number of people able to access adequate income support” Senator Siewert concluded.