Disabled People Need To Be Included In The 2020 Wellbeing Budget – Disabled Persons Assembly

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A focus on wellbeing in the budget presents a real opportunity to make a difference to disabled people’s lives, but only if disabled people are explicitly included, the Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA) says.

At the Budget Policy Statement 2020 hearing this morning DPA Chief Executive Prudence Walker spoke to the Finance and Expenditure Committee about measures DPA believes need to be included in the budget to ensure disabled people aren’t left even further behind.

“DPA supports the overall focus on wellbeing in the budget, especially since wellbeing and health outcomes for disabled people and their whānau remain much poorer than the general population,” Ms Walker says.

“However, DPA is deeply concerned that if the budget does not include measures that directly benefit disabled people and their whānau, we will only end up seeing our community fall even further behind.

“There is an opportunity in this budget to make a real difference to disabled people’s wellbeing particularly for disabled Māori, Pasifika and children who experience some of the greatest inequity in our communities.”

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Throughout the budget priority areas, DPA has identified a number of measures that will improve wellbeing for disabled people including:

  • Fully funding Carer Support payments so that carers, especially those on low incomes, including Māori and Pasifika, don’t have to pay a top up out of their own pocket to access respite care.
  • A substantial increase to the rate of the Child Disability Allowance to help mitigate the impact of disability on disabled children and their whānau.
  • Reforming the Child Disability Allowance to make it more accessible as recommended by the Child Poverty Action Group 2016 report.
  • Implementing the relevant recommendations of the Welfare Expert Advisory 2019 report “Restoring dignity to social security in New Zealand”. Many of these recommendations will have a significant positive impact for families with a disabled child or parent.
  • Resourcing the transformation of the disability support services to enable the roll out of the Enabling Good Lives approach across the country which will help improve the physical and mental wellbeing of many disabled people.