FlagPost

Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

Parliamentary Library Logo showing Information Analysis & Advice

Search: FlagPost

Filter by

Date

Syndication

Tag cloud

Filter by disability

Voting online? Don’t count on it

In the 2013 Federal Election, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) lost 1,370 ballot papers. Subsequent inquiries examined the selection of polling locations, the transport and storage of completed ballot papers, and the recruitment and training of temporary staff in short timeframes. The logistics are challenging, but are they necessary? We already do our banking and shopping online – why not voting? Read more...

The 'mind-body problem' and proposed DSP reforms

The interim report of the Review of Australia’s Welfare System led by Patrick McClure was released on 29 June 2014. The report contains proposals for significant reforms to the Disability Support Pension (DSP). The reforms would see the DSP reserved for people with a permanent impairment and no capacity to work. Those people with a partial capacity to work would be placed on a lower tiered working age payment and provided with support to improve their employment capacity. The proposals represent an attempt to deal with the perverse incentive for income support claimants to apply for DSP, which has a higher rate of payment and reduced activity testing, rather than allowance payments l... Read more...

New restrictions on disability pensioners travelling overseas

In the midst of heated debate over the Budget’s welfare reforms some significant measures have escaped the headlines, including new restrictions on Disability Support Pension (DSP) recipients travelling overseas. The measures, proposed by the Social Services and Other Legislation (2014 Budget Measures No. 2) Bill 2014, will reduce the time disability pensioners can spend overseas from six-weeks at a time to four weeks in a 12-month period. A number of submissions to the Senate committee inquiry into the Bill, from individual DSP recipients and from welfare groups, took issue with the changes suggesting that DSP was being unfairly targeted and that the measures would increase red tape. Read more...

Concerns raised over Government disability payments scheme

The Senate is scheduled this week to debate legislation establishing a payment scheme for around 10,000 workers with intellectual disability whose wages were determined using a tool found by the Full Court of the Federal Court to be discriminatory. The use of tool, the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT), has long been contentious and the Government’s proposed BSWAT payment scheme is equally so. Background In 2012 the Full Court of the Federal Court decided (Nojin v Commonwealth) that the employers of two men with intellectual disabilities, Mr Nojin and Mr Prior, had unlawfully discriminated against them by imposing a requirement or condition that, in order to secure a hi... Read more...

Parliamentary Library Lecture: Innovation and job targets the keys to disability employment

Craig Wallace, President of People with Disability Australia, has told a Parliamentary Library Lecture that poverty for people with disabilities in Australia will not be overcome by changes to the system of income support. Instead, he argued, Australia should commit to a national challenge to create jobs for people with disabilities over the next decade. Mr Wallace argued that ‘Australia has a troubling record on jobs on disability’: We rank 21st out of 29 OECD countries in employment participation rates for those with a disability. We rank 27th of the 27 in terms of the correlation between disability and poverty. 45 percent of people with a disability live in, or near, pov... Read more...

Future growth in DSP receipt—not all bad news

No doubt one of the priorities of the proposed review of income support payments will be the Disability Support Pension (DSP). DSP numbers have risen substantially in recent decades, despite numerous reforms designed to tighten eligibility and hence restrict growth. However a recent paper suggests that changes made to other income support payments have offset these reforms, and that the story is more positive than previous reports suggest.The factors behind DSP growthThe paper examines the factors behind the growth in DSP recipient numbers over the last 30 years, which rose from 216,600 in June 1982 to 827,500 in June 2012. Demography accounts for a significant amount, with an estimated 117,... Read more...

DisabilityCare Australia launches

DisabilityCare Australia, a new scheme for providing support for people with disability, has commenced in locations across Australia. The launch of the scheme, formerly known as the NDIS, is the culmination of years of advocacy from the disability and carers sectors. It builds on work undertaken through the National Disability Strategy, the Productivity Commission, COAG and agreements reached between the Australian and state and territory governments.This post provides a brief guide to some key aspects of the DisabilityCare Australia launch.What is DisabilityCare Australia?DisabilityCare Australia is a major and highly complex reform to the way in which disability support is funded, accessed... Read more...

Paying for the NDIS: what about a levy?

There is increasing speculation that the Gillard Government is considering introducing a levy to help pay for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The question of how the NDIS would be financed was one of the key issues examined by the Productivity Commission (PC) in its inquiry which lead the Government to introduce the scheme.This post outlines the importance of the financing issue and what the Productivity Commission recommended as a model for funding the NDIS. It highlights some of the key questions relating to the design of a levy for the NDIS.Currently, most disability care and support in Australia is funded and provided by the states and territories. The Commonwealth's fin... Read more...

Disability employment in Australia and the OECD

Accounting firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has released a report outlining a series of principles that it believes should guide the implementation of the national disability insurance scheme proposed by the Productivity Commission. In the report, PwC cites statistics which indicate that Australia ranks 21st out of 29 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in employment rates for people with a disability. It also highlights the fact that Australia is ranked 27th out of 27 OECD countries when it comes to relative poverty risk for people with a disability.The first of these figures begs the question: Why does Australia perform so poorly relative to other OECD... Read more...

Disability Support Pension Customers: Statistical Summary

The Disability Support Pension (DSP) is a means tested payment for people with a disability. To be eligible for the DSP a person must be permanently blind or have a permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric impairment. To qualify for the DSP, a person must be aged 16 years or over but have not reached pension age at the time of claiming (for more information on eligibility see the Centrelink website). As at June 2010, there were 792 581 DSP customers, this is an increase of 35 463 (4.7 per cent change) from the previous year. As a proportion of the total Australian working age population, DSP customers (aged 15 to 64) made up 5.2 per cent. Of the 792 581, only 20 per cent (158 714) did... Read more...

Top