The Australian Greens have urged a bill that will wind back transport funding for people with disability who will not access the NDIS not be passed by the Senate.
“The Mobility Allowance bill is insidious in nature and stakeholders have raised concerns about how the changes to the payment are going to make life harder for people with disability accessing the payment who will not access the NDIS. Government is once again trying to save money from people with disability.
“Previously, people with disability that accessed the payment could use it to attend work, vocational training, job search activities, voluntary work, and vocational rehabilitation programs. These are all positive activities that benefit the individual and the community.
“The Government wants to reduce the eligibility criteria to just work and vocational training. Of all the things this Government could make savings on, why take away transport from someone with disability who is be going for a job interview? Or might want to volunteer at their local soup kitchen so they can participate and engage in their community?
“On top of this, if you fall out of work, or stop doing any of the other approved activities, the Government is proposing that you only receive the payment for a further four weeks instead of 12. The impact this might have on a person with disability ability to reengage with work will far outweigh the savings from the measure. This is particularly shameful given that people with disability are already so poorly represented in the workforce.
“There are major concerns and questions about continuity of support for people who are accessing the mobility allowance when you are not eligible for the NDIS, particularly those who have barriers to entering work or are over 65. This bill is a hodgepodge of measures that chip away at access to employment and community activities for people with disability.
“The Greens believe this bill must not be passed in its current form”.