Carers Australia welcomes tonight’s Budget announcement that an additional $300 million over ten years will be invested to help fund a new, reformed model of Disability Employment Services (DES).

Ara Cresswell, CEO of Carers Australia, said, “The capacity for the person they care for to find suitable employment is a major benefit to family and friend carers.

“It can give someone with disability a higher level of self-esteem, an opportunity to develop new skills, provide greater social interaction and a more satisfying way of filling their days than just occupying themselves at home.

“In short, employment can offer them many of the benefits of an ordinary life and, as a consequence, the opportunity for carers to pursue their own goals and interests,” said Ms Cresswell.

“Unfortunately, for many years employment services for people with disability have performed badly, partly due to the poor design of the scheme and partly due to underfunding.

“The 2018 reforms to the DES promise to produce much better results for people with disability and a much better return on investment for the government.

“Not only will the funding be under the control of the jobseeker, enabling them to change providers if they are not satisfied with the assistance they are getting, but there will be strong incentives for service providers to find sustainable work for difficult-to-place jobseekers and to provide them with extra assistance.

“The key to improvement is adequate funding.”