James

Penny the Paraplegic Puncher: A Tale of Two Systems

Disabled Kiwis just can’t catch a break from this incompetent coalition government. The utterly useless Penny Simmonds, who somehow landed the made-up portfolio of Minister of Disabled People, has made a right cock-up of the Individualised Funding system.

For those blissfully unaware, Individualised Funding allows disabled people to manage their own care and support services instead of being shoved into some government-run facility. It gives them choice, control and independence over their lives. But our penny-pinching Penny has other ideas.

Her bright sparks at the Ministry have rewritten the Purchase Rules, making it much harder for disabled people to access these funds and the freedom they provide. The new rules are so convoluted and restrictive, you’d need a team of Philadelphia lawyers just to make sense of them.

It’s a disgusting assault on the rights and dignity of our most vulnerable citizens. But I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised coming from a National and Act government that has done nothing but nickel-and-dime the poor and disabled at every turn.

Mark my words, this move will force many back into substandard residential care, eroding every bit of autonomy they’ve fought tooth-and-nail to achieve. All to save a few measly bucks that will no doubt be blown on some other government white elephant.

Disabled Kiwis have been putting up with Act and National’s incompetence and betrayal for far too long. It’s high time they find a government that will actually fight for them instead of using them as punching bags.

Because if there’s one thing Penny Simmonds has proved, it’s that she’s fantastic at punching downwards at the disabled community. What an absolute paraplegic puncher of a Minister.

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