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Budget Creates Opportunities For Disabled People

DPA (New Zealand) Incorporated

MEDIA STATEMENT
For Immediate Release
20 May 2010

Budget Creates Opportunities For Disabled New Zealanders


The $6.8 million budget funding package announced today by the government aimed at improving the lives of disabled people is most welcomed, particularly given the present tight economic climate.

Attitudes continue to be seen by disabled people as the single biggest barrier to our living fully productive lives, e.g. access to education, having paid work and appropriate support. The government’s $3 million commitment to promote positive perceptions about disabled people and to target discrimination provides a real opportunity for change. ‘’Disabled people must be central to the planning and design of any public awareness or social marketing programme that aims to change behaviours’, said Ross Brereton CEO of DPA. DPA as a collective voice has the lived experience of disabled people and looks forward to working with other disabled peoples organisations and with the government on the public awareness programme.

Disabled people’s employment rate is a little more than half the employment rate of non disabled people. This participation rate remains embarrassingly low and is unacceptable. The changes in the income tax rates, particularly the lowering of the $14.000 to $48.000 from 21% to 17.5% also presents an opportunity to focus on meaningful employment for disabled people so we can share in the economic gains in a significant way.
DPA warmly welcomes the investment of $2.3 million over the next three years to promote, protect and monitor disabled peoples rights. DPA is particularly pleased with the $750.000 available to the Convention Coalition responsible for independently monitoring the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


ENDS

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