underwhelming results from DSP "reforms"

A report1 says "the growth rate for the [Disability Support Pension] DSP is falling, with a 1.4 per cent drop in the rate between June 2010 to June 2011, compared with the previous year".

In the 2011-12 Federal Budget, the Government announced changes2 that it said would reduce DSP recipients by around 40% ... so an outcome of 1.4% can hardly be said to confirm reforms are working as intended; this is just spin.

It seems that changes such as these are rushed into existence at the behest of big business (see http://a4.org.au/a4/node/436). Governments hope they are seen as responsive to big business ... without regard to facts, research or community consultation. Nor is there any regard for the effects of these reforms on people with a disability and their carers: who are easy targets for tough talking bullies.

These are cruel attacks on the self-confidence and self-respect of people whose confidence is often at a low ebb. This tough talk from big business and Government encourages the media to attack vulnerable people (see http://naomianderson2.wordpress.com/2011/10/15/today-tonight-shame-on-you/) and misrepresent DSP recipients (see http://www.theaustralian.com.au/media/monday-section/press-council-adjud...).

Such attacks on DSP recipients from the right wing of politics happen at regular intervals. The Howard Government had its "Welfare to Work" program in 2006. Unsurprisingly, the outcome was underwhelming3: there may have been a short-lived 6% dip in DSP uptake.

A wise person once said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". Another saying is "Insanity is defined as repeating the same behavior and expecting a different result".

1 see http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/our-responsibilities/disability-and-carers/pub... and http://jennymacklin.fahcsia.gov.au/node/1463

2 see http://www.jennymacklin.fahcsia.gov.au/transcripts/2011/Pages/disability... or http://www.alp.org.au/federal-government/news/supporting-australians-wit...