Daily News - Thursday 22 May 2014
Salvos point to job crisis among the disadvantaged
Michelle Grattan, The Conversation
Australia has a jobs crisis rather than a welfare crisis, according to the Salvation Army’s Economic and Social Impact Survey of nearly 2500 clients.
Current job search and employment service programs are having “little impact on those with significant disadvantage”, its report said.
Job services need shake-up says mental health centre
Sabra Lane, 7.30, ABC
One of the groups in the Government's sights as it looks for budget cuts are people on the Disability Support Pension. There are currently 800,000 people receiving it, at a cost of $15 billion each year. A mental health research centre has told 7.30 there should be a radical shake-up of traditional job-seeking services for young people on that pension to get more of them into work and staying there. Political correspondent Sabra Lane reports.
... Associate Professor Eoin Killackey has written a policy paper proposing a new way, based on the individual placement and support scheme and proposes rolling it out through Headspace centres first before other community centres.
EOIN KILLACKEY: I think in all of the interventions that we do in mental health, I don't think there's anything that sends such a powerful message that a person is just a normal member of society as actually winning a job. Being able to go to an interview and somebody saying, "Irrespective of what's going on in your life, I want to hire you for the skills and talents you possess and I'm going to pay you for those." There's nothing we have that's as powerful as that for people.
Call for disability quotas
Hannah Carrodus, Bendigo Advertiser
A Bendigo disability service has called on the federal government to introduce workforce quotas for people with a disability.
Radius chief executive Cath McDonald said statistics showed that 15 to 20 per cent of Australians had a disability and the make-up of each workplace should reflect these figures.
Bill Shorten urges Tony Abbott to reinstate disability discrimination commissioner
James Massola and Matthew Knott, Sydney Morning Herald
Five members of the Australian Human Rights Commission have lashed the government for ripping $1.7 million out of the organisation and defunding the disability discrimination commissioner role.
The commissioners' show of unity came as Opposition Leader Bill Shorten personally intervened in the matter on Tuesday by writing to Prime Minister Tony Abbott urging him to reconsider the decision.
The nation can’t carry this unfair burden
Editorial, The Daily Telegraph
It might just be the fastest-growing group in Australia — every week around 2500 people apply for the disability support pension. This is a truly staggering number. It means that within fewer than 20 weeks there would be enough new applicants to fill the Sydney Cricket Ground to capacity.
... many claimants are clearly obtaining full disability payments for afflictions that should not prevent them from obtaining some form of gainful employment.
It stretches credulity that every week 2500 Australians suffer psychological or physical impairments so severe that they must seek the disability pension.
NSW Disability Support Pensioners now outnumber Australia’s total war wounded by more than 44,000
Geoff Chambers, Daily Telegraph
One in 10 people in some NSW regions isnow relying on the disability support pension, with statistics showing almost 20,000 people, the equivalent of five Australian Army brigades, joined the disability welfare line in the past three years.
Despite the federal government’s attempts to rein in the ballooning costs of the $15 billion disability pension fund, of which NSW leads the country in claimants, 2500 people across the country continue to make new applications for the payment every week.
Fetal syndrome ‘must be recognised as disability’
Michael Owen, The Australian
The federal government’s reluctance to recognise fetal alcohol spectrum disorder as a disability had deprived many Aboriginal children of the correct treatment.
Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council director Scott Wilson has told a parliamentary inquiry that communities affected by the problem received little support because FASD was not officially recognised as a disability.
“Unless FASD is declared a disability, they can have the diagnosis but they still won’t be able to get access to residential commonwealth rehab-type services, treatment and so on,” he said.
Disabled people likely to face $7 GP payments despite Hockey's assurances
Lenore Taylor, The Guardian
When Korey Gunnis - sufferer of rheumatoid arthritis, cerebral palsy, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, chronic asthma, hearing loss, anxiety disorder and clinical depression - asked Joe Hockey on the ABC’s Q and A program how he was supposed to cope with the new “heartless” $7 Medicare co-payment, the treasurer’s answer was unequivocal. Gunnis would not have to pay it.
More than 100,000 young unemployed to go without benefits
Ben Schneiders, Sydney Morning Herald
More than 100,000 young people a year will be forced to survive without unemployment payments for at least six months under the Abbott government's controversial welfare changes.
A breakdown of the Abbott government's own budget figures, provided to Fairfax Media, reveals it expects nearly 110,000 young people a year to be without work for six months and to be then moved on to a new work for the dole program.
Advocacy groups warn changes to Newstart and Youth Allowance could throw thousands of young people into homelessness
Norman Hermant, ABC
Advocacy groups are warning that thousands of young people living in community housing and low-rent private apartments face eviction if their Newstart and Youth Allowances are cut off as a result of new measures in the budget.
Hockey Defends ‘Remedial’ Budget to Not for Profits
Jackie Hanafie, Pro Bono News
Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has been forced to defend his Federal Budget to the Not for Profit sector, saying that while the Coalition’s Budget may seem tough, society’s most vulnerable will end up paying unless “remedial action” is undertaken.
Speaking in Sydney at a post-budget lunch organised by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and attended by more than 200 sector leaders, Treasurer Hockey said: “If we don’t start to live within our means sooner or later the people most vulnerable in the community are going to be the ones most affected.
"... since the late 1990s every budget has been like a positive feeding frenzy down in Canberra.
"Everyone comes to find what Santa Claus is going to give them."
"... Sooner or later someone's going to have to say 'it's been going on for 16/17 years guys, we now need to take stock."
Drop paid parental leave plan to offset blocked budget measures, Labor says
Lenore Taylor, The Guardian
Labor says the government could recoup all the savings lost when budget measures are blocked in the Senate by abandoning its paid parental leave plan, in an attempt to counter the government’s claim that it is engaged in fiscal “sabotage”.