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New funding model falls short for disabled people

New Government funding model falls short of real support for disabled people
Media Statement
12 April 2018
The Government’s proposed disability residential pricing model is only a short term, temporary fix for ongoing funding issues within the disability sector.

The proposed residential pricing model is part of the transformation of the New Zealand’s disability support system outlined in the 2018 residential support services strategy, Where I live; How I Live.

NZDSN is calling for an alternative solution, with a more robust approach implemented that provides long-term, sustainable funding solutions for the disability sector.

“In its current form the proposed model is at odds with what is needed to transform how the sector supports disabled people to live by the Enabling Good Lives Principles,” says Dr Garth Bennie, Chief Executive New Zealand Disability Support Network (NZDSN).

“However right now the proposed model imposes a fixed funding ceiling with only a marginal increase to the sector’s available funding, meaning the current funding struggles faced by disability service providers will simply be passed on to disabled people and families.

“For example, the current model allows for less than $7.50 per day, per person for food and household items – a simply unrealistic amount, especially for a sector of the population over represented in poor health outcomes.

“If the available funding is not aligned with the actual cost of providing supports and services to people then it will be families who are left to make trade-offs about what services their loved ones receive.”

“We acknowledge that the intended changes create more transparency and equity, which is a good first step. But the Government needs to go back, and identify how to make real change in line with the Enabling Good Lives’ principles,” says Garth.

“They can start by funding providers to a level that recognises the need to invest in innovation that can make tangible, meaningful differences in the lives of disabled people and their families.”

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