New Zealand Labour Party

Nicky Wagner blames disability workers for Govt’s funding failure

Nicky Wagner displayed disrespect and sheer arrogance when she insulted disability support workers today, says Labour’s Disability Issues spokesperson Poto Williams.

“I’m no longer surprised that this Government is out of touch but the Associate Health Minister provided a startling response to my questioning of funding cuts to a much needed service.

“When I tabled a letter from Intellectual Disability Empowerment in Action (IDEA) that outlined why they were unable to provide any Autism Spectrum Disorder services due to underfunding, the Associate Minister of Health reacted appallingly by attacking the service.

“Underfunding of more than $500,000 in the 2016/2017 period with no offer of any further increases meant IDEA had to deliver heart breaking news to the families they’ve been supporting since the Ministry of Health contract was signed in 2013.

“They have been working with the Ministry to provide alternative providers. For the Minister to say they’re abandoning people because of her under funding is nasty and disingenuous.

“The Government has failed to adequately fund and support workers who care for some of our most vulnerable people. When called on to explain this, the Minister blamed IDEA.

“Labour would reverse National’s 1.7b of health cuts so Kiwis can get the healthcare they need,” says Poto Williams.