Social worker warns changes could hit poor

SUPPORT DWINDLING: Young people and many on welfare will have their government payments cut as part of new rules coming into effect today.
SUPPORT DWINDLING: Young people and many on welfare will have their government payments cut as part of new rules coming into effect today.

WHILE many new year's revellers are likely to be nursing hangovers this morning, the introduction today of changes to social security rules and payments could also cause a few headaches.

Among those payments to undergo change will be the Disability Support Pension (DSP) with recipients aged under 35 to be subject to a medical review.

New compulsory participation plans and compliance penalties may also apply.

Australian Council of Social Service CEO Cassandra Goldie said families receiving welfare, young people and people with disabilities will be among the hardest hit by the changes.

Dr Goldie warned the new laws could cause significant harm to those on low incomes and the disadvantaged.

"Australia's social security system provides safety for families and individuals and helps stabilise the economy in downturns," she said.

"The first Abbott government budget contains billions of dollars in social security spending cuts."

Dr Goldie welcomed a proposed $6.20 increase to weekly payments for young people receiving social security.

The maximum rate of Youth Allowance for a person over 18 and living away from home is currently $213.40 a week.

An increase in single allowance payments by $51 a week is being sought, Dr Goldie said.

Topics:  australian council of social service centrelink disability support pension

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