The federal government recently quietly passed budget reforms stripping welfare payments from the criminally insane. The measures passed almost unnoticed in the mid-year budget review; which was itself almost completely overshadowed by the tragic events at Martin Place.

From July 2015 support pensions paid to people with severe mental illnesses who have been detained for serious crimes will disappear. These are people who cannot be convicted of their crimes because they lack the capacity to discern right from wrong.

Welfare advocates are shocked as the cuts mean these dangerous people will not receive the care and support they need. Moreover, they will be a constant threat to the communities in which they find themselves.

The cuts reek of hypocrisy when considered against the Prime Minister’s description of Man Haron Monis, killer of Lindt Café manager Tori Johnson, 34, and barrister Katrina Dawson, 38. Monis

Monis was described by Prime Minister Tony Abbot as a “sick and disturbed individual,” “consistently weird.” He told reporters that “even if [he] had been monitored 24 hours a day, it is quite likely, certainly possible, that this incident could have taken place.”

So mid-year budget cuts allowing just that are the epitome of political double-speak!

Mr Abbott admitted being “dumbstruck” that despite his long criminal history Monis had been free on bail and a threat to the people of Sydney. “How can someone who has had such a long and chequered history not be on the appropriate watchlists? And how can someone like that be entirely at large in the community?” said the Prime Minister.

The cuts are expected to shave $30 million off the budget target. However, advocates say this will only shift the burden of costs from prevention to response. The social impact of which will be devastating.

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