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it's not just dodgy backs « Previous | |Next »
April 22, 2005

In an article in the Australian Financial Review Marcus Priest tackles a key problem in the welfare-to work reforms. He says:

...the problem for government is not just that there are a larger number of people receiving DSP [Disability Support Pension], but that those receiving DSP are overwhelming older males who have been out of the workforce for an extended period. During this time out of the workforce, many skills possessed by DSP recepients have become increasingly out of date as workplaces and technology rapidly change--making it even harder for them to return to work.

The unskilled blue-collar jobs took the brunt of the economic reforms of the 1980s. That has been the product of the restructuring over the last 20 years.

This skill deficit problem is compounded because many of those on DSP, who have come from the unskilled and semi-skilled blue collar professions, also have musculoskeletal and pyschological (eg., depression and lack of confidence) conditions.

There's an opening for primary health care to help restore wellbeing. Would the Treasurer pay for that?

The upshot is those who are on DSP require extensive assistance if they are to re-enter the workforce to work in the jobs in the new service economy. However, the funding is not there for the intensive assistance required.

So, for all intents and purposes, the DSP has been operating as a de-facto early retirement scheme.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:06 PM | | Comments (0)