Discover more from Antipoverty Centre media hub
Disability advocates to condemn widespread failings of DSP at parliamentary inquiry
The DSP is forcing disabled people into extreme poverty, harmful employment programs and pervasive unfair practices are leading Centrelink to deny support those who are entitled to it
On Monday 6 September the Antipoverty Centre and People with Disability Australia (PWDA) will give evidence at a federal parliamentary inquiry to detail how the Disability Support Pension (DSP) is failing disabled people.
DSP recipient Kristin O’Connell and Jay Coonan from the Antipoverty Centre with PWDA’s Giancarlo de Vera will outline a range of issues raised in our joint submission to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee DSP inquiry.
270 community members shared their stories with us for this inquiry and their voices are included in the submission.
Senate Community Affairs References Committee Disability Support Pension inquiry
11.30am to 1pm AEST Monday 6 September
Kristin O’Connell, research and policy at the Antipoverty Centre, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0413 261 362
Michael Badorrek, PWDA Marketing & Communications Manager, email@example.com, 0408 682 867
Submission #1: failings of the DSP and proposals to create a payment that upholds disabled people’s rights
A second submission detailing experiences of disabled people on income support will be available after the hearing
Over the past decade successive changes from both Labor and Coalition governments have made the DSP harder to access and less supportive. As a result the number of people receiving the DSP has dropped dramatically.
The design of the DSP and the income support system more broadly means that disabled people are being hurt and killed by poverty, dangerous mutual obligations, and unsuitable jobs they are forced to take under threat of losing social security payments.
The government has designed the DSP to coerce disabled people into work. It should not be used as an unemployment payment, but should instead provide a lifelong guaranteed income that ensures day-to-day costs are met, and that living standards are not eroded by a lifetime spent below the poverty line. It must act as a gateway to greater supports.
Disabled people in this country experience extraordinary rates of poverty. 38% have an income of less than $384 per week. About 42% of working age disabled people rely on a social security payment as their main source of income, compared to 8% of those without disability.1
The primary purpose of the DSP must be to ensure that all disabled people have the financial capacity to meet basic needs and are supported to fully participate in society on an equal basis. It must uphold disabled people’s rights.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, ‘Data tables: Income supplementary data tables’, People with disability in Australia, 2 October 2020, access via https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/disability/people-with-disability-in-australia/data?page=3