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Pillay: Disability Funding Increase - Just Another Cut In Disguise

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Targeting funding and more restrictive criteria will save the National Government $9 million dollars per annum, but will cost many disabled New Zealanders much more then that, Labour's spokesperson for Disability Issues, Lynne Pillay said today.

"The National Government announced that it would be giving extra funding for disability equipment and modifications - and then went on to announce that they were going to save $9 million dollars per annum and would be implementing more targeted eligibility criteria for funding." Lynne Pillay said.

"In particular the Government is looking to introduce more targeted eligibility criteria for the funding of hearing aids from tomorrow. Sadly, National are just moving the goal posts again on those looking to receive funding for hearing aids.

"Those who have hearing loss have already taken a cruel blow as a result of Nationals ACC cuts.

"The axing of funding for hearing aids for people who have less than 6% hearing loss was a shock to many of those who have work related hearing loss.

"Add this to cuts for support for tertiary students, cuts to Sign Language classes, cuts to mentors and teachers for deaf students and the impact of the National Government's decision to ignore the needs of the deaf community are enormous.

"Nationals cutting of important support that should be available if required will have a devastating effect - people who need hearing aids will miss out or have to foot the bill themselves.

"Cuts to funding for hearing aids coupled with a 2.5 per cent raise in GST and the increase in the cost of living will see even more families struggle day to day.

"National keeps moving the goal posts and it's just not fair - for most New Zealanders it means under National pay more get less, but for many people with hearing loss it is pay more get nothing," Lynne Pillay said.

"National's latest funding announcement is just another cut in disguise."

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