Taken from: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-23/government-defends-plans-to-alter-disability-support-pension/5171914 23.12.13 (09.00)
Kevin Andrews defends plan to alter Disability Support Pension entitlements
The Government has defended plans to alter the Disability Support Pension to make it harder for some people to receive it permanently.
More than 800,000 Australians receive up to $813 a fortnight on the pension, for people who are permanently blind or have a physical or intellectual condition that stops them from working.
The Government says the number of people on the pension has grown by 20 per cent in the past decade and the cost to the budget last financial year was $15 billion.
Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews says he is looking at a number of options for change, and would prefer a two-tier system that separates permanent and temporary recipients.
"We don't want to condemn people to what is virtually a dead-end these days in terms of the DSP," he told AM.
- No need to defend these actions Minister, they are sensible and necessary.
More importantly, a VERY large number of people who have a disability want to work – they are desperate to engage as fully paid up members of our community and sensible policy and leadership from government can bring this.
Let’s not panic at the thought of review where improvement and change are for the better. Instead, why not change the stupid restrictions and bizarre measurement tools used to evaluate disability employment services. Instead, lets take sensible steps and reward programs for a reduction in welfare dependency (I know this sounds weird, but that doesn't happen now).
Kevin – you can do this!
Imagine if job seekers could register with more than a single service provider – this would create real competition and give people choice – it’s the way things were and the way they could be again.
Remove the ESA boundaries (‘in’ speak, but basically services can support people in X postcode but not in Y – even though this might be a street apart).
Raise expectations and reward providers for the level of participation – an 8hr a week job does not equal full time participation – the participation numbers look great but our position relative to other developed economies (stone cold motherless last) does not!
Come on Kevin – this is my Christmas wish list, let’s review the pension, let’s review service provision and lets make 2014 a Champagne year for people with disability!
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