A program designed to help injured veterans to upgrade their education and training skills to return to work has been scrapped by the Labor Government.
Former Deputy Prime Minister and Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Barnaby Joyce, said the scrapping of the program was a direct result of veterans having been stripped of their voice at the Cabinet table under the Labor government.
“One of the first actions of Mr Albanese when he became Prime Minister was to remove the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs from Cabinet. As a result, Labor can afford to pay subsidies for people to buy electric vehicles but can’t afford to help injured veterans retrain for the workforce”, Mr Joyce said.
Mr Joyce said ‘the scrapping of the program was more extraordinary given only eight months ago the Labor Minister had introduced legislation to extend the program’.
The veterans’ program, officially titled Maintaining Incapacity Payments for Veterans’ Studying, provided incapacity payments, based on 100 per cent of normal pre-injury weekly earnings, for veterans engaged in approved full-time study under a Department of Veterans’ Affairs funded return to work rehabilitation program.
The program was an initiative of the former Coalition government in 2018/19 and welcomed by veterans’ groups nationwide.
Mr Joyce described as ‘spurious’ claims that the program had not been a success.
“It’s strange that the program had been so successful for more than four years, to the point that Labor extended it, and then suddenly it’s scrapped without the Minister even making an announcement.
“The program hasn’t failed, it’s the Minister that has failed.”
Mr Joyce called on the government to release the data it had allegedly based its decision on.