Doing the 'hard yakka': Implications of Australia’s workfare policies for disabled people

Alan Morris, Shaun Wilson, Karen Soldatic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This chapter examines life on neoliberal welfare in Australia. We first scrutinise the ongoing changes in disability support since the start of the 1990s. The analysis illustrates how eligibility for the disability benefit has tightened and become more conditional over the last two decades. A crucial development is that an increasing number of disabled people who previously qualified for the disability support pension have been forced on to the unemployment benefit (Newstart) which is far less generous than the disability benefit. The second part of the chapter discusses the adequacy problems of the Newstart benefit and ongoing deficiencies in Australia’s welfare-to-work model. The final section examines the lived experience of Newstart recipients in an inner-city neighbourhood in Sydney. Drawing on in-depth interviews with Newstart recipients and survey research, it examines the impacts of having to survive on the extremely low Newstart benefit. The data illustrates that living on Newstart is a life of ‘hard yakka’, one where individuals are constantly faced with severe financial pressures which, in turn, have dire impacts on their living circumstances, social ties, health and capacity to (re)enter the work-force. The chapter highlights that for the growing disabled cohort dependent on Newstart life will be exceptionally difficult.
LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationDisabled People, Work and Welfare
Subtitle of host publicationIs Employment Really the Answer?
EditorsChris Grover, Linda Piggott
Place of PublicationBristol, UK
PublisherPolicy Press
Pages43-65
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781447318354
ISBN (Print)9781447318323
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

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workfare
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welfare
disability
work force
survey research
pension
unemployment
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health
experience

Cite this

Morris, A., Wilson, S., & Soldatic, K. (2015). Doing the 'hard yakka': Implications of Australia’s workfare policies for disabled people. In C. Grover, & L. Piggott (Eds.), Disabled People, Work and Welfare: Is Employment Really the Answer? (pp. 43-65). Bristol, UK: Policy Press. https://doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781447318323.003.0003
Morris, Alan ; Wilson, Shaun ; Soldatic, Karen. / Doing the 'hard yakka' : Implications of Australia’s workfare policies for disabled people. Disabled People, Work and Welfare: Is Employment Really the Answer?. editor / Chris Grover ; Linda Piggott. Bristol, UK : Policy Press, 2015. pp. 43-65
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Morris, A, Wilson, S & Soldatic, K 2015, Doing the 'hard yakka': Implications of Australia’s workfare policies for disabled people. in C Grover & L Piggott (eds), Disabled People, Work and Welfare: Is Employment Really the Answer?. Policy Press, Bristol, UK, pp. 43-65. https://doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781447318323.003.0003

Doing the 'hard yakka' : Implications of Australia’s workfare policies for disabled people. / Morris, Alan; Wilson, Shaun; Soldatic, Karen.

Disabled People, Work and Welfare: Is Employment Really the Answer?. ed. / Chris Grover; Linda Piggott. Bristol, UK : Policy Press, 2015. p. 43-65.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

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Morris A, Wilson S, Soldatic K. Doing the 'hard yakka': Implications of Australia’s workfare policies for disabled people. In Grover C, Piggott L, editors, Disabled People, Work and Welfare: Is Employment Really the Answer?. Bristol, UK: Policy Press. 2015. p. 43-65 https://doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781447318323.003.0003