Scott Morrison: Don't Deny People with Disability Access To Welfare Support

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In the 2017 Budget, Scott Morrison declared the Turnbull government would deny people "welfare for a disability caused solely by their own substance abuse"

This was the final welfare crackdown measure announced at the end of a budget that earlier included a 0.5% levy to guarantee funding for the NDIS and $80 million for mental health. This targeted attack on people with disability was however left far away from those measures trumpeted earlier in the speech.

This attack on people with disability is a cheap political ploy that will scrape away relatively few dollars in "savings" but cause huge harm to individuals and push larger costs to health and not for profit services.

In trying to score some short sighted points with the inevitable group that might dismiss the small number of people with disability receiving welfare due solely to substance abuse, Scott Morrison has missed the economic point. Australia is a mixed market economy and our system of social support including policies such as income support and the NDIS are there to ensure that all Australians can live, earn and spend freely, contributing too and growing our economy.

When Scott Morrison cuts support to people with disability, it may be self validating to think that 'they don't deserve funding, they did it to themselves', but that is a short sighted approach. What then happens is that these people who Treasurer Morrison dismisses as unworthy are abandoned, are at risk of great personal suffering and from a purely economic perspective, become a greater cost elsewhere in the system.

Not only is this bad morals and ethics, it is bad economics.

Given Treasurer Morrison's willingness to fully fund the NDIS with 0.5% levy, it is clear he understands the economics of social programs and how they build rather than break national economies. This chest thumping approach to support for people with disability can only be seen as part of the wave of Trump-era populism that is sending us back to the dark ages.

Add your voice and tell ScoMo this is a no go. Show the Treasurer that this attack on people with disability is not right or popular!

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