Changing the requirements for those on the disability support pension, as announced in the federal budget, is “completely ludicrous”, says disabilities advocate Stella Young. “The reassessment of people on the disability support pension is always going to be a problem,” Ms Young said. “It doesn’t necessarily create jobs in the labour market, it doesn’t create opportunities.” Under the changes, an estimated 28,000 people on the disability support pension who are able to work more than eight hours a week, will be reassessed to potentially move over to the lower Newstart allowance. They will have to actively search for work, take part in training, or work for the dole. Ms Young, an ABC presenter who has a disability, says forcing disabled Australians under the age of 35 to meet the same criteria as other jobseekers is not the way to go about it. “You’re going to put people in situations where they might have to apply for jobs that they will never get because they’re just not accessible for them,” she said. Effort should instead be put into developing employment opportunities for disabled Australians, she said. “There’s people sitting around, who are not reaching their full potential, who are at home watching Oprah all day. They don’t necessarily want to be, it’s no good for your self-esteem” she said. Ms Young used the example of a lawyer friend, who is now deemed ineligible for the disability support pension because she’s been previously employed, but had to recently turn down a job because the law firm did not have any wheelchair-accessible offices. “Until we fix those things, how can we be denying people the income support that they need … while they find an accessible employer?” she said. Speaking to ABC radio ahead of the budget, Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews said the welfare rules of recent years had been “less rigorous”. “If people are capable of working let’s encourage them to work rather than sitting on welfare – that’s a council of despair,” he said. In another budget cut close to Ms Young’s heart, the federal government will slice off one per cent of the ABC’s budget over the next four years, amounting to more than $40 million. As part of the cuts, it’s expected that ABC Ramp Up – a website that provides relevant news for those in the disabilities community, run by Ms Young – will be shut down. “I think people are pretty disappointed at losing such an important voice and platform for people with disabilities,” Ms Young said. “The irony is that Ramp Up provides opportunities for young writers, employment opportunities, skills development and all that. Diminishing those opportunities is not serving the government’s aim to get people off the support pension.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 老域名.