Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

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.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

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

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Flaws In Anti-gang Laws


Google “Christopher Luxon“ and “mojo” and you get nearly 60,000 matching responses. Over the past 18 months – here and here and again, here – Luxon has claimed that New Zealanders have either lost their mojo and/or are in the process of re-finding it. With mojo in hand, New Zealanders will once more become a nation of over-achievers, blessed with the feisty Kiwi can-do spirit of yore.

But here’s the thing. According to Luxon, we’re naturally bold, inventive and self-reliant. Yet according to him, we’re also “wet, whiny and inward-looking”...
More


 
 

Government: GPS 2024: Over $20 Billion To Get Transport Back On Track
Transport Minister Simeon Brown has released the draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on Land Transport, outlining the Coalition Government’s plan to build and maintain a transport system that enables people to get to where they need to go quickly and safely... More

ALSO:


ACT: New Zealand Dodges Dopey Experiment In Prohibition

“Labour’s attempted crackdown on smokers would have delivered criminal groups a near-monopoly over the cigarette trade,” says ACT Health spokesman Todd Stephenson... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More


Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels


 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.