Minister for Disability Issues, Nicky Wagner recently wanted to hear from families, children and service providers involved with supporting disabled children as part of a voluntary review.
In fact she may have been so busy gathering information (see previous link) that she failed to catch up on the really important news in her area.
A Child Poverty Action Group report on disabled children, being launched in Auckland today, says children supported by the child disability allowance almost trebled from 17,600 in 1998 to 45,800 in 2009, but were then cut back to just 34,500 last June.
The cut has been achieved both by tightening criteria and by simply not publicising the allowance.
The allowance is unusual because it is not income-tested and pays a child’s principal caregiver a flat amount, currently $46.25 a week, to recognise the “extra care and attention” that a disabled child needs. (emphasis added)
Read whole article here
On the other hand when you read the Government’s Disability Action Plan, maybe she is knee deep in this development. It does appear to fit one of the overall strategies:
- increase employment and economic opportunities.
- ensure personal safety
- transform the disability support system
- promote access in the community.
One way the Government is transforming the disability support system is by keeping quiet about allowances desperately needed by those caring for disabled children.
‘Shhhhhhhh don’t give it to them unless they ask for it, by name.’
How much will the Minister’s next pay rise be? And how many disabled children is she juggling between work?
$46.25 per week Minister!?!