TURNBULL GOVERNMENT’S SHAMEFUL RECORD OF USING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY TO JUSTIFY UNFAIR CUTS

April 26, 2018


For years, the Turnbull Government has used people with disability as a human shield to justify their harsh and unfair cuts to pensioners, families, education and lower income Australians.

This is a cruel and cynical tactic which the Government itself has today exposed as completely unnecessary - because the NDIS has been fully funded all along.

The Turnbull Government used the NDIS as an excuse for cutting billions from higher education and infrastructure in MYEFO 2016-17. 

“The uncommitted funds from the EIF (Education Investment Fund) and the BAF (Building Australia Fund) will be allocated to the NDIS savings fund special account.” 

[Mathias Cormann, 13 January 2017]  

People with disability were also used as a justification for the cuts proposed in the Turnbull Government’s Social Services Legislation Amendment (Omnibus Savings and Child Care Reform) Bill 2017including:

  • Cutting Family Tax Benefits – scrapping Family Tax Benefit Part A and Part B end of year supplements.
  • Scrapping the Energy Supplement – a $1 billion cut to pensioners, people with disability,  carers and Newstart recipients. Scrapping the Energy Supplement to new pensioners will be a cut of about $365 a year.
  • Introducing a four week wait for Newstart – forcing young people to live off nothing for four weeks before they can access income support.
  • Cutting support to young people between the ages of 22 and 24 by pushing them onto  the lower Youth Allowance – a cut of around $48 a week or almost $2,500 a year.
  • Scrapping the Pensioner Education Supplement and Education Entry Payment.
  • Cutting the pension to migrant pensioners who spend more than six weeks overseas.
  • Cutting Paid Parental Leave - leaving 80,000 new mums worse off.  

“...today we are announcing that the balance of the savings achieved through that Bill will be provided and debited into the NDIS special account”

[Scott Morrison, 13 February 2017] 

“...we are announcing the second part of that strategy and that is the remainder of all of the savings from the Omnibus Savings Bill go to fully fund the NDIS”

[Christian Porter, 13 February 2017]

In the 2016-17 Budget, the Turnbull Government used people with disability as the pretext for cuts to social security, cuts to carers and a crackdown on Disability Support Pensioners.

By dumping the Medicare Levy increase at the centre of his last budget, Malcolm Turnbull has totally undermined his own credibility and exposed the nasty and cynical politics at the heart of the Turnbull Government.

If Labor hadn’t opposed harsh and unfair cuts and tax hikes on lower income families, Turnbull would have gotten away with deceiving Australians.

Labor is absolutely committed to the NDIS. The Scheme has always been fully funded and the Turnbull Government should never have caused stress and worry for people with disability by claiming otherwise.

People with disability and their families should rest assured that the future of the NDIS is secure under a Shorten Labor Government. 

THURSDAY, 26 APRIL 2017

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Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra