PSA disturbed by dismal handling of funding issues for disability support services

New revelations today that the Ministry of Health has been blocked from making major cuts in funding for disability support services are a disturbing symptom of longstanding underfunding of the disability sector says the Public Service Association (PSA).

"Information obtained by the New Zealand Disability Support Network (NZDSN) about intended cuts reveals a disturbing level of disregard for the careful management of disability support services funds and seriously dents confidence in the Ministry of Health," says PSA national secretary Kerry Davies.

"If the cuts had proceeded the situation of historic underfunding in this sector would have worsened. It really does beg the question about how thoroughly the Ministry has been briefing the Government about the funding needs of the sector, or whether it has simply had its head in the sand.

"Alongside sector organisations like NZDSN, the PSA has serious concerns about how DSS funds are being managed now and into the future. We are now advocating for serious scrutiny of the Ministry’s performance and their poor management of funds.

"It is time now - with the 2019 Budget just around the corner - for this Government to address the historic lag in funding, to take steps to tidy up the current mess and to deliver a strong reassurance to disabled people and workers in the sector that funded services are safe and that this dismal handling of funding issues will not be repeated".