3 June 2014
A Modest Budget for Disability
The ACT Government continues its well-structured transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme with its 2014 Budget, but people with disabilities are in danger of being left behind as Canberra moves rapidly towards a digital economy.
"Of primary concern is the non-human rights compliant congregate respite facility for children," said Christina Ryan, General Manager of Advocacy for Inclusion. "The NDIS will see the end of this Victorian era type of disability care and it is disappointing to see the ACT government building more with this Budget."
Key concerns with this budget:
1. People with disabilities are in danger of being left behind as Canberra moves towards being a digital economy. Less than 50% currently have independent internet access.
2. Construction of a non-human rights compliant congregate respite facility for children with disabilities.
3. The ACT government isn't taking responsibility for ACT people with disabilities being NDIS ready.
4. Continuing uncertainty about the availability of independent disability advocacy as demand increases with the NDIS.
The 2014 ACT Budget contains some welcome initiatives, although spending on disability is modest - reflecting the current fiscal environment.
Positive initiatives in the 2014 ACT Budget:
1. Support for concessions schemes adversely affected by the Federal Budget.
2. Funding to support the new Out of Home Care Strategy also benefits parents with disabilities.
3. Welcome capital works to support more accessible education, a more accessible Supreme Court, disability housing and the ACTION Bus fleet upgrade.
4. Long overdue funding injection to increase subsidy levels under the Taxi Subsidy Scheme.
5. Reduction in fees for quarterly vehicle registration payments.
"We expect the ACT government to proactively support our role as active citizens in the ACT community. This Budget contributes modestly towards this, but there is still a very long way to go," concluded Ms Ryan.
For more information: 6257 4005 - Carla Millner Bradley or Ellen Read