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Green Party Response to Family Care Legislation

Green Party Response to Family Care Legislation

The Government’s rush to pass legislation to restrict payments to those caring for disabled family members is deeply disappointing, Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty said today.

Parents caring for disabled children haven't been allowed to receive payments for the work they do.  However in 2011, the Human Rights Review Tribunal ruled that such families were being discriminated against.  The Government unsuccessfully appealed this decision all the way through to the Court of Appeal. In Budget 2013, the Government tabled legislation that would restrict future claims by carers for compensation.

“This Bill is an attack on the rights of disabled people who want to pay a family member to care for them and an attack on the right to challenge discrimination,” Ms Delahunty said today.

“National’s actions will lead to more stress for families caring for their disabled offspring.

“The families caring for their disabled family members are not greedy people.

“The work they do is hard and demanding.

“The $92 million, budgeted over the next four years, is not going to be available to family carers unless the Ministry of Health or the district health board decides to pay them and then they can be paid less than non-family carers.

“The aim of this legislation is to stop pay-outs, not to assist families,” Ms Delahunty said.

“This legislation will result in many caring New Zealanders struggling with the needs of their disabled offspring receiving nothing while those who have already made claims will receive a little.

“People performing the same tough and arduous work will be divided between those lucky enough to have made a claim before Budget day 2013 and those who haven’t.  Nothing about this legislation is fair or equitable,” Ms Delahunty said.

ENDS

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