Alf is troubled by the namby-pamby Human Rights Review Tribunal and its ruling about parents who care for severely disabled adult offspring.
It has decreed these parents should be eligible to receive payments from the Government.
Currently the Ministry of Health pays for carers to look after severely disabled people, but not if they are a family member.
A group of parents who look after their children in that situation have been fighting to see that change.
The tribunal’s released its decision today and chief human rights commissioner Rosslyn Noonan called on the Government to start paying the parents immediately
Noonan also says the Government should move immediately to put in place a policy to ensure the discrimination doesn’t continue
It’s all very well for Noonan to demand the payments begin immediately. She doesn’t have to cough up the cash – it will come from we taxpayers.
Moreover, as Health Minister Tony Ryall points out, the decision has serious implications way beyond the disability sector. Hence almost certainly it will be appealed against.
The ministry has 30 days in which to decide whether or not to appeal.
What bothers Alf is the persistent push to heap parental responsibilities and the costs of meeting them on to the state.
If parents can claim payments for caring for their children on the grounds they are providing a service that other providers of the same service are paid for, the ramifications (and potential costs) are massive.
Teach your kids at home – for example – and you should be paid teachers’ wages?
Put a bandage on your kid’s wound and lay claim to a nurse’s or doctor’s wages?
Where will it end?
Alf’s strong inclination is to end it right here by appealing against this ruling, then sacking the bloody tribunal along with Noonan and her commission.
Let’s restore an important right – the right to be discriminatory.