Posted 21 June 2017 11:30am

The proposed changes, which the Treasurer flagged in his 2017 Budget speech, will deny people with a disability caused by drugs or alcohol, access to the Disability Support Pension (DSP).

“The Senate must use the opportunity they have today to vote against these mean spirited changes by voting for the Disallowance Motion introduced into the Senate yesterday.

“Forcing people severely impacted by substance abuse further into poverty by placing them on the Newstart allowance instead of the Disability Support Pension will not help those affected find jobs or create substantial savings to the social services budget,” Catholic Social Services Australia, CEO, Fr Frank Brennan said.

“This measure is simply the government wanting to pass judgment on who they think deserves help. 

“Moving these severely impaired people onto a welfare payment that is based on mutual obligation requirements such as Newstart, will not improve their employment prospects.

“Instead, this group will have their income reduced or cut off entirely because they are unable to meet the mutual obligation requirements.

“This proposed change will set people up to fail, which will only put more pressure on our stressed social services,” Fr Brennan said.

Unless a disallowance motion is passed when the Senate votes today, the changes to Disability Support Pension will take effect from 1 July.

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