AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Turnbull Disability Funding to Welfare Cuts Backfires Spectacularly

Politicoscope
By Politicoscope February 14, 2017 12:05
MOST POPULAR YOU MAY LIKE

POLITICS HOME: Current Political Article


Turnbull government’s bid to link disability funding to welfare cuts has backfired spectacularly, angering the Senate crossbenchers it was meant to win over and drawing fire from advocates and even a Paralympic champion.

Continue below with the full current political topic.

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Turnbull Disability Funding to Welfare Cuts Backfires Spectacularly

The Turnbull government’s bid to link disability funding to welfare cuts has backfired spectacularly, angering the Senate crossbenchers it was meant to win over and drawing fire from advocates and even a Paralympic champion.

The government had hoped to win support for its so-called omnibus savings bill by promising to direct $3 billion towards the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Another $1.6 billion would fund the Coalition’s childcare changes.

But crossbench kingmaker Nick Xenophon officially torpedoed the plan on Tuesday, saying the trade-off was simply “too harsh”.

“As a negotiating tactic, this is as subtle as a sledgehammer. Pitting battling Australians against Australians needing disability support services is dumb policy and even dumber politics,” Senator Xenophon said.

The government – which needs all three of Senator Xenophon’s upper house votes to pass legislation opposed by Labor and the Greens – would need to go “back to the drawing board”, he said.

Treasurer Scott Morrison and Social Services Minister Christian Porter are refusing to give up on the bill – which contains cuts to family tax benefits, paid parental leave and other payments – and are continuing to lobby the crossbench

Government sources said it had “positive” signals from One Nation but without Senator Xenophon’s support, the bill appears doomed.

Paralympic wheelchair-racing legend Kurt Fearnley was furious about the government’s move, accusing it of using the NDIS as a “political football”.

“It is mischief. It is political opportunism and it is just wrong,” the passionate disability advocate and former NDIS advisory council member told ABC television.

“To sit there and draw a direct line between funding for people with disabilities and the cuts to other vulnerable members of our community — to those on welfare, to those on pensions — you could draw that line across a thousand different parts of the budget.

“I wish the government would fight for it with as much vigour as fighting for its $50 billion business tax cut because they believe both are benefits for our community.”

Mr Porter rejected suggestions the government was putting the NDIS in doubt.

“The NDIS is completely committed to, it will be completely funded,” he said.

“But we need to find more savings to ensure that we close that funding gap. The only alternatives other than that, are taxation or more borrowings and they are not in the best interests of all Australians.”

Australian Council of Social Service head Cassandra Goldie strongly rejected the linking of social security cuts to disability funding.

“This measure is robbing Peter to pay Paul, pitting people on low incomes against each other in an unfair way. We need a properly funded NDIS, but that must not be at the expense of the poorest people in our country,” she said.

Disabled People’s Organisation Australia chief executive Therese Sands said she was “shocked and troubled” by the government’s move. Labor said it should be condemned for its “shameful” tactics.

– Canberra times


Readers Who Read this Article Also Read


Up Next on Politicoscope

Share this Article: "AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Turnbull Disability Funding to Welfare Cuts Backfires Spectacularly"



Since You’re Here, We Would Like to ask You for Help
There are more readers worldwide reading the Politicoscope daily news content than ever before. Unlike many other news media organisations that charge their readers subscription fees for the same daily news content and features we offer you for free, we do not charge all our readers to pay any fee. We depend on online advertising to generate the revenues to fund all these great news content and exclusive features provided to you for free. Currently, advertising revenues are quickly falling which is affecting our ability to offer you free online news content.
If everyone who reads our news content, likes it and helps to support it, we can have future guarantee to offer you with the best daily news content and other amazing features, all for free.
"I visit Politicoscope everyday to read my daily news in world politics. I'm glad it's all for free. On my part, I'm happy to donate monthly so as to continue enjoying these free content because it's actually a small amount from me compared to paid subscriptions by other news organisations. I want to help Politicoscope grow more so that I and other readers can continue to have access to free and exclusive daily online news." - Denise H., from LA, USA.
Help keep Politicoscope alive and grow stronger for you.

Donate Online Today


Politicoscope
By Politicoscope February 14, 2017 12:05
Since You’re Here, We Would Like to ask You for Help
There are more readers worldwide reading the Politicoscope daily news content than ever before. Unlike many other news media organisations that charge their readers subscription fees for the same daily news content and features we offer you for free, we do not charge all our readers to pay any fee. We depend on online advertising to generate the revenues to fund all these great news content and exclusive features provided to you for free. Currently, advertising revenues are quickly falling which is affecting our ability to offer you free online news content.
If everyone who reads our news content, likes it and helps to support it, we can have future guarantee to offer you with the best daily news content and other amazing features, all for free.
"I visit Politicoscope everyday to read my daily news in world politics. I'm glad it's all for free. On my part, I'm happy to donate monthly so as to continue enjoying these free content because it's actually a small amount from me compared to paid subscriptions by other news organisations. I want to help Politicoscope grow more so that I and other readers can continue to have access to free and exclusive daily online news." - Denise H., from LA, USA.
Help keep Politicoscope alive and grow stronger for you.

Donate Online

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00



What's on Your Mind?