Disability support gets biggest-ever funding boost

  • Hon Jenny Salesa
Disability Issues
  • $833 million to take pressure off disability support services and ensure access
  • $12 million to assess innovations that empower people with disabilities
  • $4.4 million to pay for in-between travel costs for disability carers

The Coalition Government is lifting the support available to New Zealanders with disabilities says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa.

“As New Zealand rebuilds, we are also rebuilding our public and community services. Care and support workers and providers will get a clear signal that the funding is there for the long-term. People with disabilities will see that they will be part of an inclusive recovery where we rebuild better.” says Jenny Salesa.

“This is the largest-ever funding boost for disability support services, with an additional $833 million invested in over the five years. This includes $103.7 million for current financial year.

“When we came to Government, disability support funding was struggling to keep up with the rightful expectations of the disabled community. That’s why we lifted disability support’s funding by $211 million in our first year, and by a further $348 million in the 2019 Wellbeing Budget. For the 2020s, we are substantially lifting the community contribution to the support disabled people need.

“Under the previous government, disability support services funding failed to keep pace with rising demand by people with disabilities and their families. The system was put under significant financial pressure and, whether intentional or not, that pressure reduced access to frontline support services.”

“This funding is about ensuring access to support for showering, cleaning, and hands-on care; accommodation for those with high needs; equipment for mobility and access; respite for family/whanau carers; rehabilitation for people following a serious illness; and secure court-ordered care.

“This year, we’ve also invested an additional $12 million towards transforming New Zealand’s disability support system, allowing us to assess the pilots that have been happening around the country. It’s about disabled people and their families having greater choice and control in their lives.

“We know that adequately funding disability support is fundamental to rebuilding New Zealand to be a caring, inclusive society where people with disabilities are empowered to live fulfilling lives. This Budget’s substantial increase represents real progress.” said Jenny Salesa.

The Government will now contribute over $1.7 billion per year to disability support through the Ministry of Health, DHBs and local providers.

Disability Support Services Funding Increases under the Coalition Government

Over the last three years, the Government has funded a top up to disability support services where demand for services has exceeded allocated funding and the Ministry of Health has been unable to meet all these costs itself. The top ups have increased year on year for the last three years. By agreeing such a large funding increase up-front in Budget 2020, the Government will reduce the need for such top ups in the future.