Monday 22 February 2021
Australian Greens Disability Rights spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has called for an urgent intervention to lift young, disabled people out of poverty after new data, obtained by Children and Young People with Disability, was published today.
Senator Steele-john said the data, which showed job seekers aged 20 to 25 with a partial capacity to work, had almost quadrupled in the last decade meanwhile the number of students aged 20 to 25 with a disability on youth allowance has skyrocketed almost 1000 per cent.
“These statistics are absolutely shocking, but not at all surprising,” Senator Steele-John said.
“Back in 2012 we warned the Gillard government that their proposed changes to the Disability Support Pension would have the net result of kicking thousands of disabled Australians into poverty, and entrench poverty for a generation of young people transitioning into adulthood.
“Young Australians already face significant barriers to gaining meaningful employment. If you also have a disability and have been assessed as having a partial capacity to work – recognition that you need extra support to participate in the workforce – then your options are incredibly slim.
“Youth Allowance is not enough money for any young person to live on while they are studying full time. For young and disabled Australians it is a poverty sentence.”