Louise Hall reports in today's Sydney Morning Herald, on the NSW budget's boost to social services, "Disability and Ageing gets a 9.1 per cent rise to $2.4 billion, but the second phase of the 10-year $1.3 billion Stronger Together disability reforms are not in the forward estimates."
Media Release from Ageing, Disability and Home Care following the tabling of the 2010-2011 NSW State budget: 8 June 2010
The Keneally Government’s budget for services to people with a disability, their families and their carers and older people will eclipse $2.4 billion, up $206 million from 2009-10.
NSW Minister for Ageing and Minister for Disability Services, Peter Primrose, said the massive investment reflected Labor’s spending and policy priorities outlined in Stronger Together, the NSW Government’s 10-year plan to expand services for people with a disability.
“The 2010-11 Budget is a tangible delivery on the Keneally Government’s commitment to deliver better services and facilities for NSW’s most vulnerable members – frail elderly people and people with a disability,” Mr Primrose said.
“This year the Keneally Government has allocated a total of $2.468 billion to Ageing, Disability and Home Care, an increase of 9.1 per cent over the previous year.
“Over the past five years, the budget for ageing and disability services has increased by $710.4 million or 40.4 per cent, enabling the NSW Government to deliver services to more than 280,000 people across the state.
“This Budget represents the fifth year of the NSW Government’s historic reshaping of the sector under Stronger Together, which will deliver an extra $1.3 billion in funding over its first five years.
“This will fund continued increases in existing services, such as respite for carers of people with a disability who need a break from their caring responsibilities, therapy services for children and supported accommodation for people with disabilities who can not live at home.”
Mr Primrose said that key areas of focus and expenditure for 2010/11 included:
● $203.4 million in 2010-11 (an increase of $48.3 million over 2009-10) to fund 401 new supported accommodation places. Over the period 2006-07 to 2010-11 there will be an additional 1,370 places, with costs over the five years totalling $590 million;
● $26.2 million in 2010-11 (an increase of $2.9 million over 2009-10) to prevent young people entering nursing homes, improve the circumstances of younger people in nursing homes and develop alternative models of support for young people living in nursing homes. Over the period 2006-07 to 2010-11 $80 million will be have been spent;
● $6 million in 2010-11 to provide alternative accommodation support for people with a disability located in Boarding Houses;
● $71 million in 2010-11 (an increase of $13.3 million over 2009-10) to increase support from three days a week to four days a week (and five days for people with very high support needs) for people with a significant disability who leave school but are unable to enter the workforce. Over the period 2006-07 to 2010-11, an estimated 6,240 people will be supported via the Agency’s post school programs at a cost of $235.3 million;
● $42.4 million in 2010-11 (an increase of $4.8 million over 2009-10) for an additional 103 attendant care (intensive in-home support) places. Over the period 2006-07 to 2010-11 an additional 612 places will be provided at a cost of $120.1 million;
● $11 million in 2010-11 (an increase of $2.7 million over 2009-10) to provide intensive support packages for children and young people and their families. Over the period 2006-07 to 2010-11 an additional 1,840 packages will be provided at a cost of $31.2 million;
● $14.2 million in 2010-11 (an increase of $2.3 million over 2009-10) for additional therapy places. Over the period 2006-07 to 2010-11 therapy places will increase by 2,880 at a cost of $40.6 million;
● $34.3 million in 2010-11 (an increase of $2.4 million over 2009-10) to provide 159 new flexible respite packages. Over the period 2006-07 to 2010-11 an additional 2,243 packages will be provided at a cost of $110.7 million;
● $11 million in 2010-11 (an increase of $1.2 million over 2009-10) for day program places. An additional 780 places will be provided over the period 2006-07 to 2010-11 at a cost of $33.3 million;
● $5 million over four years ($1.5 million in 2010-11) to provide intensive assistance for 410 children and their families with managing problem behaviours, both at home and at school;
● $585.8 million in 2010/11 (an increase of $48.1 million over 2009-10) for HACC services which include domestic assistance, social support, meals, transport, case management and respite; and
● $2 million in 2010/11 (an increase of $2.0 million over 2009-10) for additional support and early intervention for autism.
Mr Primrose said that the Government had also made provision in the budget to start or ramp up trials of new services for people with a disability.
“The extra 103 attendant care packages will coincide with an expansion of a program where people self manage the services that they receive,” he said.
“This will allow people to be more independent and have input into their services – so that they get the services that they need, when they need them.
“The Keneally Government has also allocated $79.3 million in capital expenditure for this year, including $56.8 million to continue work on building or renovating existing accommodation facilities and $9.2 million to start work on new accommodation.
“In this budget we have sought to provide the additional funding needed under Stronger Together to make an impact on service levels immediately while planning for long-term, sustainable changes that will deliver a more flexible, efficient, transparent and fairer system.
“There is more that we can do – and we are doing more. The Keneally Government is providing more therapy, more accommodation, more respite and more services that people with a disability, their families and the carers need,” Mr Primrose said.