Entire Veterans Employment Program Vanishes into Thin-Air

Entire Veterans Employment Program Vanishes into Thin-Air

23 May 2023

22 May 2023


 A major program designed to fund not-for-profit groups, such as the RSL and Soldier On, to help transition veterans into the civilian workforce, has vanished into thin-air. 

Former Deputy Prime Minister and Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Barnaby Joyce, said the $16.2 million grants program, called Enhanced Employment Support for Veterans, would not be receiving any more funding as a result of this month’s Federal budget. 

“It’s over. The entire program has been axed by Labor”, he said. 

Mr Joyce said the axing of the program was further evidence that veterans needed their voice restored at the Cabinet Table where funding decisions are made. 

“The first decision Prime Minister Albanese made when he formed government last year, was to dump the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs from Cabinet. That needs to be reversed,” Mr Joyce said. 

He said each year, between five and six thousand defence personnel left the military. 

“Many find that transition difficult,” Mr Joyce said, “which is why this employment program ensured the government funded groups, such as Soldier On, the RSL and Disaster Relief Australia to help place veterans in employment. These groups have experience and a particular understanding of the unique needs of veterans,” Mr Joyce said. 

“That’s why the Coalition invested $16.2 million over four years in this program. Labor never suggested it would cut this important source of funding when they went to the election”, he said. 

Mr Joyce said the government’s decision to upend the program and cease funding had not only left veterans in the lurch, but also left affected not-for-profits in the lurch. 

Mr Joyce said the decision to axe the program came on top of another Labor budget cut which ended a program providing incapacity payments, based on 100 per cent of normal pre-injury weekly earnings for a veteran, to engage in approved full-time study. 

“Late last year the government actually introduced legislation to extend this program; and now they have handed down a budget to axe the 100% incapacity payment for veterans engaged in study to help with their employment transition”, he said.

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