Peak Disability Org Slams 2022 Federal Budget For ‘Short-Changing’ People with Disability

Australia’s peak disability rights and advocacy organisation has criticised the Federal Government for not providing better support for people with disability in the 2022 Budget.

People With Disability Australia (PWDA) says the Federal Government has ignored key budget requests that PWDA and other key disability organisations have been advocating for over the last few months.  

PWDA President Samantha Connor: “We’re very disappointed with the outcome of the 2022 Federal Budget for people with disability.

“This budget is a lean, mean budget for people with disability, their families and carers.”

“The 2022 Budget provided a valuable opportunity for the Federal Government to give people with disability more support and protection during emergencies like floods and bushfires, more protection from COVID, better support via the NDIS and violence prevention services and increased support for disability advocacy services.”

“The additional funding we were seeking in relation to these issues would have significantly improved the health and safety of people with disability across Australia. However, the government has clearly decided to short-change people with disability once again with no new funding commitments of any significance.”

“People with disability have been treated poorly by this government over the last three years. They actively deprioritised us for protection during the worst of the COVID pandemic. They tried to kneecap our NDIS packages with independent assessments and are continuing with their plan to hollow out the NDIS by massively increasing adverse decisions against participants and clawing back payments. And they continue to support industry models for disability support services which often deliver segregation, violence and abuse to many people in our community.”

“There is an urgent need for increased advocacy funding given the difficult circumstances people with disability face, so people with disability have the certainty to get the help they need. People with disability are facing vast uncertainty in the wake of floods and fires and remain in situations where we are unable to work or go to school because of COVID, as the evidence heard in the Disability Royal Commission has proven.”

“The 2022 Budget provided a platform for the government to try and regain support from people with disability in the lead-up to the upcoming election. But what this budget shows is the government is once again deprioritising people with disability at a time when our need to be protected, supported and valued has never been greater.

“While it is pleasing to see that there is a small economic support payment for eligible recipients, this in no way goes far enough to ensure that people with disability are not worse off. We face the same cost of living pressures but there has been additional cost of living pressures since the COVID pandemic started, including in recognition of the increased need for PPE, rapid antigen tests and other disability-related supports.”

“One in five Australians lives with disability and that’s a very significant proportion of voters. Ahead of the upcoming election campaign, this is a budget that puts people with disability at the end of the queue.”

Background: PWDA Calls For 2022 Budget Measures That Improve Health And Safety Of People With Disability.

ENDS

Media Contact:

Michael Badorrek, PWDA Marketing & Communications Manager

michaelb@pwd.org.au | +61 408 682 867