Almost $100 poorer due to welfare changes

Issue 

SYDNEY — A new analysis by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) of the impact of the federal government's changes to welfare, announced in the May budget, reveals that many people who find part-time work or undertake study after July 2006 would be worse off than under existing arrangements.

"The budget's welfare-to-work package increased employment assistance for people with disabilities and provided more childcare for sole parents but if those on payments want to work or study they have even less money to make ends meet", said ACOSS president Andrew McCallum on June 27. "The financial disincentives to work and study must be removed so struggling Australians can improve their prospects and find a way out of poverty."

Next year, people with disabilities assessed as able to work part-time and sole parents whose youngest child is over five years who would have been on higher-paying pension payments will be diverted onto lower-paying allowance payments. Those on allowances face lower incomes when working part time or studying, compared with the existing social security system.

The ACOSS study found that a single person with a disability will be $93 worse off under the Newstart allowance, while a sole parent will be $86 a week poorer.

Kerry Smith

From Green Left Weekly, July 6, 2005.

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