Fuseworks Media

IHC calls for end to discriminatory benefit system

IHC says the benefit system is unfair and adding to intellectually disabled New Zealanders experiencing worse outcomes in most areas of life.

Director of Advocacy, Tania Thomas, says there’s discrimination on the grounds of age or disability and this has occurred for a long time.

“An intellectually disabled person who lives in residential care receives substantially less funding than other people with disabilities, both intellectual and physical.

“The way funding of people in residential care is structured means that discrimination worsens with every passing year in light of increases in inflation and the cost of living.

“In a society where people with intellectual disabilities experience poor outcomes in every domain, this discrimination is inexcusable.

“IHC has been asking for changes to the benefit system since 2019 and in June last year we put our concerns to Whaikaha, the then new Ministry of Disabled People.

“Whaikaha acknowledged the disparity in December and said they would highlight the issue with the incoming government.

“We’re calling on Whaikaha, MSD and the Ministry of Health to rectify the situation and not allow the disadvantage to continue.

“This is now a matter of even greater urgency, with the Government pushing for changes such as increasing benefit sanctions and reintroducing the unproven 90-day trial period.”


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