Tuesday, 17th July 2012
Disability Movement welcomes Budget measures
The Gibraltar Local Disability Movement (GLDM) has welcomed the assistance offered by the Government to them in the latest budget.
In their reaction to the budget the group have expressed that they hope more time and recourse will be put into disability issues. The movement hopes the increase in management resources within the social services agency will bring further improvements and will lead to the quicker and more effective resolution of issues. They believe the measures will solve many problems and hardship within the community.
On the future job strategy, the GLDM welcomes that it also includes the disabled people, but that they would like to see a program that will include sheltered employment based on the assessment of an occupational consultation for the disabled. This would help those who are capable and willing to work to hold their own in the competitive employment market.
The disabled Individuals tax allowance being extended under the allowance based system is also welcomed.
The Gibraltar Local Disability Movement has been advocating that disability allowance should be at the rated with rate of inflation. They said: “To see disability allowances based on ‘real income, usually defined as money income adjusted for the cost of living can only be good as it ensures the standards of living that the disabled should enjoy as part of the community.”
With regards to equality the movement is happy to see that government will introduce the provisions of the UN convention on the rights of the disabled but would note that the United Kingdom of Great Britain has signed and adopted the UN convention of the rights of the disabled Convention.
This Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol entered into force on 3 May 2008, after receiving its 20th ratification, and therefore the disability movement considers the government should be obligated to proceed on this basis.
On Fri 01/10/2010 The UK Equality Act 2010 came into force and will replace the Disability Discrimination Act in the UK. The GLDM said “Disabled people think that they are also less likely, than their non-disabled peers to think that the Criminal Justice System (CJS) is fair when it comes down to disability in Gibraltar.”
Adding “The fact that the law as it stands determines that a person can only be considered disabled by virtue of birth, may in any judgment in a court case with a disabled person who became disabled due to illness or accident may under the law be seen as a none disabled, no matter how extreme the disability.”
The GLDM notes that there is already a manifesto commitment to address this issue and they said they look forward to government’s action in this respect.
What the GLDM would like to see is government to facilitate discussion and multi-disciplinary knowledge transfer between government departments as this can speed up paper work and produce a quicker service to the community.
They would also like, other benefits looked into as disability benefits are designed to help them those that need the help the most. They said: “At present there are many disabled people that cannot even afford to pay for the municipal charges and live in fear of disconnection.”
In addition for the use of the web to be incentivized as this provides enormous opportunities for keeping in touch with community affairs and can even help with sheltered employment.
A spokesperson for the group said; “Government needs to provide for all the needs of the disabled, be it in better protection or in ensuring a dignified standard of living for the disabled. The Gibraltar Local Disability Movement recognizes the accomplishment of this year budget as one of the best the disabled has ever had in Gibraltar and can only hope more resources for the disabled be identified and put in place with consultation with other governmental bodies and NGOs.”