Budget sets overdue pathway for intellectual disabilities
The Government’s announcement that benefit payments will rise in line with wages, not inflation, will make a huge difference to people with intellectual disabilities, says IHC.
The policy, highlighted in today’s Wellbeing Budget, is part of a broader welfare change package to stop struggling families falling further behind.
IHC Director of Advocacy Trish Grant says this policy sets a wellbeing pathway for people with intellectual disabilities that hasn’t been clear before.
“For the many people who haven’t experienced wellbeing in an equitable way, this is significant, says Trish.
“Most people with intellectual disabilities are beneficiaries, and today’s Budget will be a welcome boost in allowing beneficiaries to work more hours by lifting abatement rates.”
Trish says the funding commitment to increased learning support in the classroom is also pleasing.
“We hope this will result in more children with disabilities being able to attend their local schools,” says Trish.
“We also hope the $1.2 billion earmarked for school property, which includes 150 more classrooms, will support more schools to become more welcoming to children with disabilities.”
Trish says there is a lot for people with intellectual disabilities, throughout all life stages, in this Budget – from extra investment in early childhood education and a sustained commitment to a better learning support and policy framework – but is disappointed with some of the funding allocation.
“The spending on Ministry of Health’s Disability Support Services is around $7 million less than they estimated they actually spent last year, so they plan to cut $7 million from actual spending."
IHC will continue to monitor the Government’s commitments to better life outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities.