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Disability petition reflects lack of consultation

Sandra Goudie National Party Disability Issues Spokeswoman

14 February 2005

Disabilities petition reflects lack of consultation

A petition launched today calling for a delay to legislation affecting sheltered workshops reflects Labour's lack of consultation, says National's Disability Issues spokeswoman, Sandra Goudie.

A Southland couple have launched the petition, which calls on the Minister for Disability Issues to delay repealing the Disabled Persons Employment Promotion Act until full and open consultation is carried out.

"These parents have been given no option but to go public with their concerns, says Mrs Goudie.

"Poor consultation with families and a lack of analysis of this legislation will mean people attending sheltered workshops will have their lives turned upside down."

Ms Goudie says the legislation, which would compel sheltered workshops to pay the minimum wage, would cost many disabled not only their jobs, but their sense of self worth.

"Repealing the Act will require people to be assessed as to their working capability to see whether they be paid full or part-time wages, or given a wage exemption.

"If workshops cannot afford the extra funds for wages, some people will be told they no longer have a job."

Ms Goudie says Ruth Dyson misled the public on the consultation process.

"The bill has not been passed by select committee as she has recently said. Clearly Ms Dyson doesn't want to give families any further opportunity to express their concerns."

"Many people with a disability want to work. The legislation will leave many with nothing to do and no place to go."

Ends

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