Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Government’s New Family Carer Payment Flawed and Unfair

Government’s New Family Carer Payment Flawed and Unfair

The New Zealand Carers Alliance says the new Government payment scheme for family carers will create more problems than it solves. The Chairman of the NZ Carers Alliance, John Forman, said it will do nothing other than pit disabled people against their closest loved ones, by introducing an employer dimension into family relationships.

“It takes no account of the fact that the 1600 carers who qualify are in many cases also the disabled person’s parent - putting the decision-making on the shoulders of a person who may be severely or profoundly disabled. In addition, there are so many service and compliance layers that it will cost a fortune to monitor,” John Forman said.

“In its announcement the Government makes much of the fact that it consulted with experts to craft this policy. The feedback we provided was ignored, and the result is the Funded Family Care payment is a dog’s breakfast. It’s not nice, it’s not right, and it won’t work,” he said.

John Forman said the best that could be said of the scheme is that there are 1600 carers who will be paid the minimum wage for some of their work. However, he said it was a ‘cheap and dirty’ response to a major social policy issue, and a raw deal for carers and those they support. He said a more workable solution would have been for family carers to be paid directly by the Government as independent contractors. This would have been far more practical, and respectful of people with disabilities and their families, he said.

Released without fanfare late yesterday by the Government, the new Funded Family Care scheme will see high-needs disabled people having to employ their parents or other close family members, as well as oversee compliance tasks such as ACC levies and Kiwisaver contributions.

The scheme comes into effect in a few days, but the Government has been secretive about details about how it will work, perhaps knowing it would get an unfavourable response from carers and their advocates, said John Forman said.

Family carers, who support New Zealand’s ill, elderly, and disabled loved ones at home, had hoped for better following a long-running human rights battle to recognise their unpaid work.

Last year the Government agreed to take the issue out of the courts and work with affected parties to find a solution. Following a public consultation, it announced that it would pay 1600 parents of disabled adults who have high support needs the minimum wage for up to 40 hours per week, injecting $92 million over four years into the new payment.

It then passed urgent legislation to close down the possibility of payment challenges from other carers excluded from the new policy, such as spouses, carers of older people, and parents of disabled children. The move angered many and has put the Government under the international human rights spotlight, while in New Zealand the Law Society and others claim it has breached the Bill of Rights.

The NZ Carers Alliance is a coalition of 45 not-for-profit organisations, which was formed to advocate for the rights of family carers.

For more information about the NZ Carers Alliance, go to http://www.carers.net.nz/home.

Information about the Funded Family Care implementation can be found at http://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/services-and-support/disability-services/funded-family-care#getffc

For a carer’s take on the new scheme and its many pitfalls, see http://autismandoughtisms.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/whats-so-very-very-wrong-with-funded-family-care/

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Mediaworks: Three to be sold or closed

MediaWorks has today announced that it intends to sell MediaWorks TV as well as its Flower Street property which includes its television head office and studios.

The intention is for MediaWorks to sell the television side of the business while retaining ownership of radio and QMS. The Flower Street property will also be put up for sale with a lease back option for a buyer to continue to operate television from that location.

MediaWorks Chairman Jack Matthews said that MediaWorks is committed to continuing to grow its business in New Zealand while recognising that free-to-air television operates in a challenging environment. More>>

 
 

Could Do Better: Post-Sroubek Review Of Deportation Info

Ms Tremain acknowledges that the review highlighted some aspects of the process that can be improved and makes five main recommendations to strengthen the existing processes for preparing files for decision-makers. Those recommendations are: More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A New Book On The Leaky Homes Scandal

We all know that journalism is short of cash and under pressure from the speed, brevity and clickbait pressures of the 24/7 news cycle… but hey, given the right subject and a sufficiently stubborn journalist, it can still surpass most of the works of the academic historians... More>>

Regulation: Review Finds NZTA Road Safety Failings

The independent review, carried out by consultant agency MartinJenkins, lists at least 10 reasons for the failures including the agency being focused on customer service at the expense of its policing functions. More>>

ALSO:

Rod Carr: Climate Change Commission Chair-Designate Announced

Climate Change Minister James Shaw has today announced the appointment of Dr Rod Carr as Chair-designate for the Climate Change Commission. More>>

ALSO:

Compliance Complaints: 'Putting Right' Holidays Act Underpayment In Health

The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Disasterous Police Pursuit, Excessive Use Of Dogs

At no stage did Police follow the correct procedure for the commencement of a pursuit... A Police dog handler used his dog to help with the arrest of two of the young people. One suffered injuries resulting in his hospitalisation, and the Authority found that the use of the dog was an excessive use of force. More>>

ALSO:

‘Hard Place To Be Happy’: Report On Youth Residential Care

Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft says the report, A Hard Place to be Happy, contains important challenges from children and young people, aged 9 to 17, about their experiences in care and protection residences. “I found this report extremely difficult to read, and I think most New Zealanders would too.” More>>

Africa And Middle East Refugees: 'Family Link' Restriction Removed

The founder of the Double the Quota campaign has applauded the coalition government for Friday’s announcement that a discriminatory policy would be removed. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels