I am not normally given to strong language on this blog, so please, if such language offends you, you may wish to consider self-censorship while reading the next paragraph.
In my opinion, and if what the ABC are reporting is accurate, then the Business Council are a bunch of fuckwits. They are total dickwads, arseholes and appear to care for a dollar more than a person.
Council President Graham Bradley is reported as saying that all current Disability pension spending must be reviewed - I don't really have a problem with that except to remark that at the individual level there are constant reviews of eligibility for disability pension funding.
The ABC reports that he then went on to remark that "disability pensions may not be the most effective use of government money"
In my view, bailing out businesses who fail to plan well or who need to be continually propped up in order to survive is a far worse use of government money, but he is free to represent a differing opinion in his constituency of the top 100 companies.
The remarks were made in the pre-budget submission of the BCA to the Commonwealth Government (a full copy of which can be obtained here: BCA Submission PDF. Like many of these documents, it represents the views of the Business Council, and thus the interests of big business, that many or may not be consistent with the interests of most Australians. Also like most such documents, some elements have been well researched, and others just slapped in without much supporting material, or at least with little apparent supporting material. In the case of the disability pension the rationale seems to have been that because the UK government is in slash-and-burn mode and have made cuts to disability pensions, then so should we.
A note to the Business Council - there are substantial differences between the state of the UK economy and our own, I'm sure you have noticed but perhaps you should consider that their policies may not be beneficial here...
The reason they give for declaring disability pension to be a risk to the economy is that the provide a disincentive to people returning to work. Now keep in mind that this is the disability pension under discussion, not the unemployment benefit.
The Business Council's remarks refer to 'recovery' which appears to ignore the reality that for many people with disability the disability is not a temporary 'health' issue at all, and certainly among those with severe or profound disability there is almost no likelihood that they will ever 'recover'.
People on the disability pension usually have substantially higher costs of living than others and there are barriers to accessing the community ad well as the workforce. There have been several economic reports in recent years that detail this, and it is disappointing that the Business Council does not appear to have discovered these before announcing this particular policy direction.
Encouraging people with disability to enter the workforce is great, having a workforce that welcomes people with a disability and provides a working environment that is fully accessible is something that the Business Council could be doing far more than they are to bring about.
Until they do they forfeit the the right to snipe at those who don't have a lot of other options.
My apologies once again for being a) off the topic of coffee, and b) the use of expletives, but such unthinking disdain for others makes me incandescent with rage.