Peak Disability Org says Labor’s budget response needs more detail

Australia’s leading disability rights and advocacy organization has welcomed some of the provisions in Labor’s response to the 2022-23 federal budget but says the opposition’s response lacks detail on measures to support people with disabilities.

PWDA President Samantha Connor: “It was gratifying to hear a commitment from Labor to ‘fix the NDIS’ and to commit fully to structural reforms across a range of policy areas, but the devil is in the details.”

“Last night Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese spoke about the major key reforms Labor had introduced and was committed to, including Medicare and the National Disability Insurance Scheme. We need to know that this includes concrete actions around these reforms to ensure people with disabilities are safe, supported and have access to the help they need.”

PWDA says both the opposition and the coalition appear to have ignored key budget proposals that the PWDA and other key disability organizations have been campaigning for in recent months.

“What we wanted to see was a commitment to providing people with disabilities with more support in emergencies like floods and bushfires, more protection from COVID, better support through the NDIS, and increased support from disability advocacy services.”

“We understand that more election announcements are imminent, but without details on how they will be funded and implemented, people with disabilities are left in crisis and without certainty.”

People with Disability Australia welcomes Labor’s $2.5 billion pledge to fix the aged care industry if it wins the upcoming general election, which will help address the crisis for people with age-related disabilities living in care homes. Other measures, including tackling pressures on the cost of living, keeping Medicare safe, providing more training opportunities and fixing nursing staff, are also welcomed.

But people with disabilities must not be left behind in a budget response that Labor says is about improving care.

“We have lagged behind in responses to COVID and various natural disasters, we have had to contend with government devastation to our NDIS, and no action has been taken to improve poverty or segregated disability support service industry models. Abuse and outrage to many people in our community,” Ms. Connor said.

“It is not good enough for either side of government to say they ‘fully fund’ the NDIS when our funding is being cut and we are unable to get the support we need, nor is it okay that the government has ignored the impact of the NDIS over the past two years of rolling emergencies and disasters for people with disabilities.”

“Along with a range of other issues, better protecting people with disabilities from emergencies and disasters and delivering a truly inclusive, effective and sustainable NDIS will be key issues for us and our community partners during the upcoming election campaign.”

“We hope that both the opposition and the government will stand up and show that they are serious about protecting and supporting people with disabilities.”

The PWDA election platform will be handed over on Tuesday, April 5, 2022.

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