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Govt reduces funding for people with disabilities

The Botched Budget is a bitter pill to swallow for people with disabilities who have been completely ignored, National Disability Issues spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.

“Disability advocates requested a $250 million increase, but received $7 million less in this Botched Budget than they did the previous year.

“This is the first time in the past five years that the disability budget has actually gone backwards. It is now at one of the lowest levels we have seen, as a proportion of Vote Health, in the past decade.

“There are growing needs in the disability sector and increasing cost pressures, so it beggars belief that the disability support budget would be reduced. Clearly this Government sees it as an area where funding can be cut to pump up other areas.

“This is disappointing as we’ve already seen conditions for people with disabilities on the wane under this Government, with recent revelations of reduced shower times, less meal preparation and less autism support for those in care.

“Budget 2018’s disability support initiative is being quietly walked back by $4m, resulting in a broken promise by Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter.

“Meanwhile, the breakdown for residential and community care is reported in the Budget as ‘not yet known’ so who knows what other misery awaits the disability sector?

“People with disabilities have been completely overlooked in the Botched Budget. If this Government was concerned with wellbeing then it would have stumped up the cash to ensure they got what they deserve.”

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