4 June 2009
GOVERNMENT SLUGS 58,000 CONTINENCE AIDS USERS
Senator Mitch Fifield, the Coalition’s spokesman for Disabilities, today condemned hidden changes in the Federal Budget which will impose new costs on a group of Australians with a disability.
In a hidden piece of budget meanness, 58,000 users of Government subsidised continence aids will now be slugged for the cost of delivery to their homes.
Under the current Continence Aids Assistance Scheme people with severe and permanent incontinence are eligible for a subsidy of up to $479.40 towards the cost of continence aids and have their postage delivery charges covered up to four times a year.
In questioning in Senate Estimates today, Government officials admitted that under the Rudd Government’s new Continence Aids Payment Scheme recipients will now have to cover the postage delivery costs currently paid by the Government.
The Government will save $10.7 million under the new scheme, with users of continence aids contributing to the savings by putting their hand in their pocket for delivery costs.
The cost of continence aids can be up to $4,000 per year for an individual. The government subsidy of $479.40 per year means many users of aids face significant out of pocket expenses which will now increase with the new delivery charge hit.
This is penny pinching at its meanest.
Australians with a disability should not have to foot the bill for this Government’s economic mismanagement.