Additional funds in the NSW government kitty

The NSW government has allocated $206 million more this financial year than they did last year, for people with a disability, their families and their carers and older people.

New South Wales residents with a disability, their carers and older people are expected to be in a much better position this financial year than they were last year, with an extra $206 million being placed in the state government’s 2010/11 services kitty, bringing the funding total to more than $2.4 billion.

The spending forms part of the Keneally government’s Stronger Together plan which outlines a 10-year expansion of services for people with a disability. The plan, released in 2006, promised to deliver better services and provide an additional $1.3 billion (total) of service funding up until 2011.

NSW Minister for Ageing and Minister for Disability Services, Peter Primrose, said the extra money represents a 9.1 per cent increase on last year’s funding figures.

“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,” said Mr Primrose.

He 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.

“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.”

The key areas of focus and expenditure for 2010/11 also includes $203.4 million to fund 401 new supported accommodation places; $42.4 million for an additional 103 attendant care (intensive in-home support) places; $14.2 million for extra therapy places and $585.8 million for HACC services which include domestic assistance, social support, meals, transport, case management and respite.

Seniors who sell their home to move into a newly-built dwelling worth up to $600,000 will also be exempt from paying stamp duty under the provisions set by this year’s budget. This move was made by the state government to encourage empty nesters, aged over 65, to downsize to a smaller home.

CEO of Aged and Community Services Association of NSW and ACT (ACS), Jill Pretty, commended the government for increasing the funds but commented that more funding could be directed to other, additional services for older people.

“There wasn’t a lot in the budget, although there were some pluses for older people through the housing tax reductions for people over the age of 65 years old,” Ms Pretty said.

“I think any additional money is helpful. We support that extra funding and we are certainly hopeful that the additional funding will assist older people as well as people with disabilities.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *