Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said there is a moral obligation not to use the proposed investment approach to income support to push people off the Carers Allowance.
“When we first heard that the Government wanted to implement the actuarial approach to income support as seen in New Zealand, I had a little hope tempered with cynicism. Now it appears there is a clear intention to drive down the number of people on carers allowance just to balance the books.
“I'm deeply concerned that the Government is just seeing the cost of Carers and not the care they provide. Carers provider billions of dollars of care each years, in fact saving the Government billions. The focus should be on how to better help and support Carers.
“Changes to how we deliver income support shouldn’t be through the lens of saving money, the focus should be on ending disadvantage and poverty and addressing people as individuals.
“Today we’ve also seen the WA Attorney General pursue a dock to income support for fine defaulters. I’d like to emphasise to Mr Mischin that the reason people are not using that low payment to pay fines is because it is used for food, clothes and shelter.
“People on income support are often already living below the poverty line, we do not need to make life harder for them.
“I urge both levels of Government not to use our most vulnerable to plug up the budget”.