Alliance Party Disabilities spokesperson and number 22 list candidate Chris Ford has called for action by the Government to achieve equity for Disability Support Services (DSS) clients.
The call comes as a campaign gets underway ahead of the general election to pressure political parties to support equity in terms of access to funding and support for both Ministry of Health/Ministry of Social Development and Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) clients.
“Currently Ministry of Health/Ministry of Social Development funded DSS clients get inferior levels of funding and face hurdles in acquiring such things as modified equipment, housing and personal care and home help support compared to ACC funded clients who have comparatively better access to these supports”, says Mr Ford.
Mr Ford, who has a disability and is entitled to Ministry of Health funding due to his disability having been acquired at birth sees the inequities in the system himself.
“I have had to endure long waits for such things as assessments for equipment modifications and also when I was working recently, I was not eligible for free home help as my income was assessed as being too high.”
That’s why the Alliance Party is supporting the equity-for-illness campaign initiated by Hamilton woman, Melanie Trevethick which calls for the same level of entitlements and support for Ministry of Health/Ministry of Social Development funded DSS clients as are available to people disabled through injury via ACC.
“This is the only just way to address the issue. While we acknowledge that there are issues that long-term ACC clients face as well which need addressing, the Alliance will make this a priority if it becomes part of government again as Labour has failed to do anything significant for the last nine years despite this being a part of the 2001 New Zealand Disability Strategy document,” Mr Ford added.
Mr Ford will be helping the group collect signatures at The Warehouse South Dunedin store in Dunedin from 1-4pm on Wednesday, August 13th.