DISABILITY support pensioners will be banned from travelling overseas for more than four weeks as part of a Budget crackdown on welfare cheats.
The Telegraph can reveal the government will tighten “portability” rules for the Disability Support Pension (DSP) to crack down on recipients taking holidays at taxpayer expense or camping out in places like Bali while claiming they are living in Australia.
The government will also introduce tougher work tests and regular assessments from government-appointed doctors in a bid to get more people on disability benefits into part time work, according to senior government sources.
The crackdown on disability pensions will be one of the largest hits in a major welfare overhaul that will form the centrepiece of the Budget.
Payments to families, the unemployed and students will also be slashed through tougher means tests, longer waiting periods and later age restrictions.
But carers payments will escape the Budget axe because the government fears cuts would end up costing them more in taxpayer-funded care, the Daily Telegraph can reveal.
The Budget overhaul will just be the start of a longer-term shake-up of welfare, with Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews aiming to replace more than 40 separate payments with just four or five basic payments.
Taxpayers spend about $100 million a year on payments to 7313 Disability Support Pensioners who live overseas.
“I don’t think anyone is saying you shouldn’t go overseas because you are on any particular benefit,” Mr Andrews said. “The question here is what’s fair from the community point of view given that people are in receipt of benefits and that’s the balance we’ve got to try and achieve.”