Folks, this is a pretty miserable budget for disabled people. In terms of new spending, we ranked dead last, along with women (which is kinda staggering in 2018) with a measly $325,000 extra over five years. Even the ‘Speaker of the House’ portfolio did better than us, with $2.8m over the same period. I know there has been a well-overdue injection for special ed, but other than that, it’s pretty grim news.
Grant Robertson didn’t mention the word disability in his speech. No update on funded family care, despite some bloody dire reporting on the state of affairs. No mention of mandatory accessibility legislation. No talk of rolling out EGL to wider areas.
Here’s what I was able to find:
- An increase in funding for disability support services to cope with rising demand
- Funding Robert Martin to continue participating in the UNCRPD committee (this is where all the new money went, by the way)
- More funding for learning support, including an extra $133.5 million that will make about 1,000 additional students eligible for ORS funding. Sensory schools and New Zealand Sign Language receive an extra $30.2 million to support about 2,900 deaf and hard-of-hearing students and approximately 1,500 low-vision students. Teacher-aide funding receives an extra $59.3 million.
And folks, that’s it! I’m disappointed. Are you?