Rupert Murdoch’s Daily Telegraph has been condemned by the Press Council over an article depicting people with disabilities as slackers and rorters.
The bizarre article compared the number of Australia’s war wounded with the number of people receiving a disability pension.
Under the headline “Slackers & Slouch Hats” the tabloid argued over three pages that the rise in disability pensioners was a disturbing trend and implied that the pensioners who had psychiatric disorders were faking illness.
This is despite the fact that the rules surrounding this pension have been made much tougher in recent years.
People claiming the pension for mental illness have to meet a 20 point test and prove that they are almost unable to leave their homes and require outside help at least twice per week.
The claim must also be assessed by both a GP and a psychiatrist.
The Press Council found that the Telegraph’s stories breached the Standards of Practice requiring accuracy and fairness.
It also found the implied meaning in the articles was “offensive”.
As part of the council ruling the Telgraph was forced to print the text of the ruling.