Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s proposal to expand the draconian compliance regime of the Community Development Program (CDP) to all welfare recipients, outlined in The Australian this morning, would be a disaster.

Mr. Abbott is proposing that to avoid well-founded accusations of racism and discrimination due to the harsher rules imposed on people in remote areas by the CDP, all welfare recipients be subject to the harsher rules.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Indigenous Officer, Kara Keys:

“The CDP has inflicted such a high rate of financial penalties on Indigenous workers in remote communities that by the end of last year penalties for indigenous welfare recipients outnumbered those for non-Indigenous recipients nation-wide.”

Mr. Abbott’s proposal, rather than seeking to make the system better for those who are being discriminated against, seeks to drag all welfare recipients down to the worst system we currently have available in this country.”

“This is a proposal to impoverish all welfare recipients, rather than improve living conditions for the most vulnerable members of our community.”

“This would be a disaster for welfare recipients, and do nothing to help Indigenous people who are watching their communities be torn apart by this brutal system.”