Tuesday, 14 February 2017

So it is Paid Parental Leave versus

the National Disability Insurance Scheme is it?
I remember my mother, not "working" at the time, getting something called "Child Endowment". It was paid at the rate of five shillings a week for me as the first born. My mother then got ten shillings a week each for the three kittens who followed me. The scheme started in 1941 to help mothers whose partners had gone to war and continued in one form or another until 1976 when it was replaced by the Family Allowance. 
The Family Allowance payment has been fiddled with ever since - mostly reducing the amount paid to parents. That's understandable. There are more two income households.
And then along came "Paid Parental Leave" - 18 weeks of paid leave providing that you have been working for 330 hours in the previous 13 months. That works out at around a day each week I think. Employers are required under certain conditions to help fund it. The government tops it up.
And, in certain circumstances, people can "double dip" - get more than other people. Very nice if you can do it. It's expensive to have a child. The money comes from both the employer and the government.
The government wants to stop the "double dipping" and  has offered to increase the amount of time on leave to 20 weeks in return for a stop to double dipping. Fair? Apparently not.
The government has tried to ram the changes through three times now - and failed. This time they are tying the changes to a raft of other measures. They are including the National Disability Insurance Scheme. They are saying "pass the changes to the PPL scheme in order to get the money for the NDIS". The Opposition and a minor party are saying "no, find the money for the NDIS somewhere else". Yes, easy to find another $3bn for a scheme some Australians believe will never be of any interest or benefit to them. I heard about this late yesterday afternoon. I was at a meeting. Someone came in towards the end of it and said to me, "Well, that's it. N... won't support it. You can kiss the NDIS goodbye and a good thing too. It was going to cost far too much. It's not like the disabled contribute that much."
There was silence. I picked up my things. I walked out. I am still waiting to hear something.
And I am wondering how many other people, for all they say, actually think like that? 


Anonymous said...

When I used a walking stick, I was amazed at the number of people who who remark"Poor you, needing a walking stick at your age" as they (of a similar age) looked at me through their spectacles.

No one expects to be disabled because of an accident, or to have a birth defect in their family. But it happens.

Check out the NZ Accident Compensation Corporation. Not perfect, but trying...


catdownunder said...

Yes, New Zealand's "no fault" scheme has problems but at least it is an attempt

Anonymous said...

The NDIS is a good idea, but it needs somebody to step up and make it work for those who need it most, and not waste any of the money in administration or by giving it to people who are not entitled.
As for disabled people not contributing much ... I agree that some don't, as they only use a walking stick when they think someone might be looking, but more of them do more for the community than many who are able bodied, some of it paid work, some of it volunteered.

Jodiebodie said...

Excuse me??? Contribute? There is more to contribute than just economically. How about being a good parent, nurturing and guiding the next generation to actually care about others so those people in power who make the decisions will have enough people willing to look after them when they are old and in need of care.
People with disabilities will contribute to the society's they live in if given the means, for goodness sake, whether it be financially, emotionally, intellectually, socially or in other positive ways.

If you want to talk economics, many people with disabilities earn a living and pay taxes. Those who are unable to work, or those who are able to work but cannot find an employer whose mind is open enough to overcome prejuedice and give them a go, also pay tax. We pay tax every time we purchase something, every time we put petrol in our cars, every time we travel, every time we hire someone else to provide a service (so we are not just paying taxes but providing employment and a means for someone else to earn money and pay tax). Not everyone with a disability receives a disability support pension.

I know many people with disabilities who contribute an enormous amount to their communities and their countries. I bet there are a lot of people contributing to society who have hidden disabilities. Why would they reveal disability if the prevailing attitude is that "people with disabilities are a burden". There are a lot of people without disabilities who are more of a burden on our society than those with disabilities.

Jodiebodie said...

P.S. apologies for errant apostrophes and typos... passion too fast for the fingers!