South Australia Shadow Minister for Disability Vickie Chapman
Disability Clients Paying For Labor’s failures
Victor P Taffa
Disability clients with funds held in trust by the State Government will begin paying fees for the first time to have their accounts administered from 1 July.
The Department for Families and Communities currently administers disability client trust funds free of charge but the Government hopes to raise $2.2 Million over three years by transferring this service to the Office of the Public Trustee and charging fees.
The Opposition has labelled the budget measure a disgrace and called for services to remain as they are.
“This is not about streamlining Government services to be more efficient, or about providing better services for people who are disabled, it is a cash grab by the Rann Government.” Shadow Minister for Disability Vickie Chapman said today.
“Disability clients will be charged for services which they previously weren’t, it is as simple as that.” Ms. Chapman said.
“People are already forced to wait years for equipment from the State Government to help them live better lives and now they’re going to be charged an extra fee while they wait.”
“The Sustainable Budget Commission identified the introduction of fees would create a public backlash and the Government chose to proceed.”
“This Labor Government simply does not care about people with a Disability.” Ms. Chapman said.
The Public Advocate, Dr. John Brayley, has also expressed his opposition to the budget measure.
In a letter to a concerned family member of a disability client Dr. Brayley states:
“Our office has heard little complaint about the management of the Disability SA trust fund, in contrast to the many calls we receive about the Public Trustee. It would seem that this Budget decision will mean that people living with a disability will receive a lesser service and many will have to pay from their own pocket.”