Senator Mitch Fifield
Shadow Minister for Disabilities, Carers and the Voluntary Sector
Hon Kevin Andrews MP
Shadow Minister for Families, Housing and Human Services
23 December 2010
MACKLIN MUST ACT ON DISABILITY SUPPORT PENSION
Comments from Dr Jeff Harmer, the outgoing Secretary of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, emphasise the Coalition’s repeated calls for welfare reform, particularly in relation to the Disability Support Pension.
Under the previous government, growth in DSP recipients was modest with a growth rate of only 2.5% between June 2004 and June 2007.
But over the past three years, from June 2007 to June 2010, the number of DSP recipients has grown by almost 11%, a growth rate more than four times faster than under the Coalition.
Reining in the growth in DSP recipients requires a core belief that moving people from welfare to work is an important priority for government.
The government should do whatever it can to ensure that people who can and want to work, are able to transition into the workforce.
Over 12 months ago Minister Macklin said that:
“Unfortunately the disability support pension has become a destination payment… so clearly the policy challenge we face is to determine why existing policies are failing Australians with disability.”
(Jenny Macklin, Speech to Per Capita Policy Exchange, 21/10/09)
Since then nothing has changed.
It’s time Jenny Macklin stepped up and started tackling some of the importance challenges facing our nation.