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Strong Support For Disability Funding

Two thirds of Kiwis in a new poll want funding flexibility reinstated for disabled people and carers.

“New Zealand’s disability communities were blindsided by changes announced and implemented in March, when then-Minister for Disability Issues Penny Simmonds signed off on changes to funding flexibility that cut support without consulting anyone, then told people about it via a social media post,” Labour disabilities spokesperson Priyanca Radhakrishnan said.

“I’ve been holding meetings around the country to hear from disabled people because the Government isn’t listening. Despite changing Ministers, they’re yet to apologise or make things right.

“A poll released today by the Fairer Futures coalition, commissioned by Talbot Mills, shows two thirds or 66 per cent of Kiwis think the Government should reverse the cuts and reinstate funding flexibility for carers and disabled people.

“The numbers also suggest that 62 per cent of National Party voters support reinstating the funding, as do 69 per cent of New Zealand First voters, and 70 per cent of ACT voters.

“This reflects the huge amount of support I’ve seen and heard from people around the country for funding flexibility to be reinstated and for this government to stop isolating disabled people and the wider disability communities.

“Earlier this month when questioned, the new minister Louise Upston failed to reveal how many people were impacted by restricting funding flexibility and how much money the Government has or will actually save from these changes.

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“It’s worrying that after more than two months since this change was made, the National Government still don’t know what they actually gained from it and yet it’s clear that disability communities continue to suffer as a result.

“Disabled people and their carers are exhausted by fighting for their right to live with dignity and are increasingly anxious that the Government will make further cuts to their supports.

“I call on the Government, as I have been for many weeks now, to immediately reinstate funding flexibility for disabled people and carers and apologise to disability communities,” Priyanca Radhakrishnan said.

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