Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPO Australia) welcomes the opportunity to provide our views on the Budget Savings (Omnibus) Bill 2017.
DPO Australia opposes the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Omnibus Savings and Child Care Reform) Bill 2017 and recommends that it be rejected by the Parliament.
We note with concern that this Bill contains a range of budget savings measures that have, since the 2014-2015 federal budget, failed to pass Parliament and that have received widespread criticism for placing the burden of Australia’s debt on those that can least afford it. With 45% of people with disability in Australia living near or below the poverty line, and Australia ranking 26 out of 27 OECD countries for the percentage of people with disability living in poverty, it is reprehensible to continue to put forward measures that only further entrench poverty and disadvantage for people with disability.
We also object to the Federal Government tying the cuts to social services contained in this Bill to securing funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Justifying cuts and savings measures that target essential human services, welfare and income support only creates trade-offs and false economies between disability support (NDIS) and social security support, and the expectation that the most disadvantaged must pay for the long overdue critical investment in people with disability through the NDIS. This is highly likely to create resentment from those affected by social security cuts, many of whom are already struggling to survive, towards people with disability and the NDIS itself.
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