Wednesday 25th March, 2020
Australian Greens disability spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has called on Minister Ruston to urgently extend the COVID-19 supplement payment, announced as part of the government’s second round of stimulus, to disabled people receiving the disability support pension and to carers who receive the carer support payment.
“Minister Ruston has been given extraordinary powers up until the end of this year which enable her to introduce measures to ensure that Australians who receive income support can get through this crisis.
“The poverty rate amongst disabled people is extremely high compared to the rate amongst the rest of the population and we face significant barriers to entering the workforce. Now we are also dealing with extra costs for transport and medical supplies, as well as personal protective equipment to keep us safe.
"That’s why I’m imploring Minister Ruston to use those powers immediately to extend the coronavirus supplement to Australians who receive the disability support pension and the carer support payment.
“On Monday we saw government acknowledge they had left students on Youth Allowance, AuStudy and ABStudy out of their stimulus package and rectify it immediately. They need to do the same with the DSP and the carers support payment.
“Australia's peak disability organisations have called on the Minister to urgently reconsider this decision because many services disabled people rely on are being closed or withdrawn, adding to the expenses people are already facing.
"It is unacceptable that disabled people have been excluded from this stimulus package and the Greens are calling on Minister Ruston to act urgently to ensure that people in our community who are at risk can access the COVID-19 supplement to help them get through this crisis."
STEELE-JOHN - Tim Oliver; 0448 316 387