Disability groups call for Senate action
Macular Disease Foundation Australia is part of a diverse partnership of representative organisations of people with disability, disability advocacy organisations, disability services and disability peak bodies that have come together to call on Federal Senators to block the Mobility Allowance Bill that is currently before the Senate. If passed, this Bill will:
- Reduce transport support for people with disability;
- Increase social isolation and reduce the ability for people with disability to contribute to the community;
- Create further barriers to economic participation for people with disability, at a time when there are increasing obligations upon them to find and keep work;
- Exacerbate the already considerable costs involved for people with disability entering or re-entering the workforce. These additional costs can outweigh the economic benefits of having a job, and be a disincentive to looking for work.
The Social Services Legislation Amendment (Transition Mobility Allowance to the National Disability Insurance Scheme) Bill 2016 will restrict access to essential transport funding to only those eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). There are approximately two million people with disability of working age, but only 460,000 will be transiting to the NDIS, This means that this Bill will impact many thousands of people with disability who will not have access to the NDIS, including people over the age of 65. The Bill has been to the Senate Community Affairs Committee, where people with disability gave extensive evidence about the problems with the legislation, which was ignored by the Government.
People with disability face significant barriers to accessing transport, which can limit their ability to work, participate in education or other community and economic activities. The current Mobility Allowance is already inadequate to cover the full cost of transport for many people. This Bill will make things much harder, with very little savings for the Government.
Posted: 21 March 2017