We are pleased to advise that our campaign work to stop the policy change to reduce the DSP payment suspension from the current two years to 13 weeks has been successful.
With the support of our members and sector colleagues, we led this work targeting the Minister, Assistant Minister, Shadow Cabinet, Cross-Benchers, Greens and independents as well as various Liberal/National and ALP parliamentarians/senators. Patrick McGee, the National Manager Policy, Advocacy & Research led this piece of work on behalf of AFDO, and I congratulate him on achieving this important shift in policy by the Coalition Government. Both Patrick and I spent a fair amount of time meeting with and emailing the politicians and departments involved and we are thrilled with this outcome.
The result of the pressure we managed to bring has resulted in the Government retaining the existing arrangements with a suspension period of two years rather than a reduction of this to 13 weeks which was to come into effect on the 1st January 2019. This would have had a significant detrimental effect on the lives of any person with disability on the DSP who it would apply to, and the original change just made no sense and was bad policy.
Please see below the extract from the MYEFO Report this morning which details the retention of the DSP suspension arrangements (last point).
MYEFO Page 225:
The Government will achieve savings of $11.9 million over four years from 2018-19 by
strengthening the integrity of the welfare system, through:
• extending the operation of Taskforce Integrity (the Taskforce) by two years from
1 July 2019. The Taskforce will focus on the detection, investigation and prevention
of criminal and serious non-compliance in the social security payments system;
• ceasing the capacity to work reviews for certain Disability Support Pension (DSP)
recipients, following an assessment of the cost effectiveness of these reviews; and
• retaining the DSP payment suspension arrangements for imprisoned recipients at
Chief Executive Officer
Australian Federation of Disability Organisations