More needed for Disability Support to address underfunding
The PSA is disappointed the persistent underfunding of disability support services has continued in Budget 2019.
Funding for National Disability Support Services in this budget is $7 million less than what was spent last year.
That’s despite years of significant underfunding in the sector and soaring demand for services says PSA assistant secretary Melissa Woolley.
"While we are pleased to see some funding for minimum wage increases, and in-between travel costs between clients, we are disappointed this hasn’t included a mileage rate increase for home support workers despite there being an agreement to review this every year."
"Likewise, initiatives to improve employment and well-being outcomes for disabled people are welcome - but the overall funding for the sector is not nearly enough to meet the growing demand for disability support," Ms Woolley says.
"We are concerned the Ministry of Health has for some time not put in a budget bid sufficient to cover the delivery of disability support services, despite agreeing back in 2009 to bid for additional funding to cover workforce shortfalls and increasing needs."
"We will be talking with the Ministry about how the gap can be addressed and will continue to advocate for increased funding."