04.10.18 GOVERNMENT CAN NO LONGER DENY FAILURE OF DISCRIMINATORY CDP PROGRAM

GOVERNMENT CAN NO LONGER DENY FAILURE OF DISCRIMINATORY CDP PROGRAM 

 
The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government can no longer willfully deny the failure of the discriminatory Community Development Program.
 
Countless reports and inquiries have shown that CDP is leaving participants trapped in poverty, unable to feed their families and is causing people to completely fall out of the social services system.
 
In shocking news reports, the ABC has uncovered disturbing data on penalties issued under the CDP, revealing the real impact it is having on communities.
 
In some areas, CDP participants have received up to 15 breaches leaving them with no income for up to eight weeks.
 
The data reveals that the higher the Indigenous participation rate in the region, the higher the rate of financial penalties issued.
 
Since the CDP’s implementation in 2015, organisations and communities have repeatedly spoken out against the program.
  
At the most recent Inquiry hearing into CDP the Senate’s Community Affairs Committee was told participants “disengage from income support altogether because reconnecting with payments or dealing with Centrelink may be difficult.” This claim is supported by the data released today, showing participant numbers have dropped by 25 percent or more in nine regions since the CDP began.
 
Additionally, a report from the ANAO in November last year clearly showed serious administrative flaws and mismanagement of the program.
 
The Labor initiated 2017 Senate Inquiry report called for a total overhaul of the CDP system - including the immediate replacement of the current compliance and penalty system.
 
The Federal Government’s delusion that this failed program works is astounding.
 
Minister Scullion has repeatedly denied that the CDP is driving up poverty in remote areas.
 
This morning in a statement the Minister for Indigenous Affairs said CDP was a “resounding success”.
 
How much more evidence does the Government need that shows CDP is not working?
 
The $275-million-a-year CDP scheme is not a success story – it is a failure that has led to more hardship and deeper poverty.
 
It is time the Government started to listen and act for the people that it says it represents.
  
THURSDAY, 4 OCTOBER 2018

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