Inclusion Australia responds to DSP Changes

The issue for Inclusion Australia is that Minister Andrews is focusing on the people with disability and not the system that is supposed to assist people with disability into work.

 Our key points are: 

Talking about people with disability ‘rorting the DSP’ or who ‘should not be on it’ raises the question, if this is the case why did Centrelink put them on the DSP? To get on the DSP a person has to have a medical certificate and also a job classification assessment. If a person ‘passes’ these they get the DSP. The agency that undertakes the assessments is Centrelink so if there is something wrong with the ‘system for getting the DSP’ the fault lies with Centrelink not the person with disability.

The Commonwealth Government must set the example. It is not credible for the Commonwealth Government to say that employers need to employ people with disability when the number of people with disability employed by the Commonwealth has decreased over the last five years. In particular, the Commonwealth must employ people who have a significant disability to demonstrate to medium and large employers what the benefits are and also how to do it.

Where are the jobs? What is the Commonwealth Government doing to create the jobs for people with disability, in particular part-time jobs of between 15 – 30 hours? With a large number of unemployed young people as well as people with disability looking for work where are these jobs today and tomorrow?

The Commonwealth Government spends nearly $1 billion on specialised support for people with disability and yet for every 100 people who go to a specialist provider only about 25 get a job. Specialist providers help people find a job, provide training and keep their job – if the ‘outcome rate (getting a job) is only 25% what hope do people with disability have in getting the right support they need to get into employment?

It is the system that needs to be fixed not people with disability. The focus on people with disability will not decrease the number of people on the DSP, or whatever the benefit is changed to. The number of people unemployed will stay the same.

If the Commonwealth Government is really serious it will demand that the specialist providers it pays $1 Billion to lift their game and get jobs for at least every 50 people with disability who enter their doors!

Mark Pattison

Executive Director
Inclusion Australia (formerly National Council on Intellectual Disability)
0407 406 647

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