30 August 2013
The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, will visit OAK Tasmania Community Services and meet with OAK Tasmania CEO John Paton and OAK Tasmanian clients to announce a new policy for carers.
Mr Wilkie has developed a five-point plan to deliver fairer outcomes for Australia’s 2.6 million carers and will press the government for its implementation.
“Carers do important work in the community but far too often have been forgotten by governments,” Mr Wilkie said.
“Now’s the time to turn that injustice around.
“At the moment many carers are having difficulty accessing government assistance, and what they do receive is well below what’s needed.
“For example, carers’ payments don’t include superannuation so they almost always retire with much less than other Australians. This could be easily and affordably remedied by the Government including the Superannuation Guarantee Levy with the Carers’ Payment.
“Moreover many carers either choose to or are forced by financial circumstances to sell their house or other assets and under current law the income from these sales can reduce or completely cut off their Carers’ Payments.
“That’s unacceptable. Carers should be able to make required changes to their asset base without risking their government assistance.”
“There’s also very little in the way of government funded advocacy, training and support services, and those services that do exist are poorly resourced and hard to access.
“Carers already have a tough job and governments must do everything possible to make it a little bit easier.
“There’s no doubt DisabilityCare is going to really help people with disabilities and their carers. But we need a whole of government approach because current government support for carers is hopelessly inadequate.”