18 May 2013

Commission may take action over legislation on carers

9:20 am on 18 May 2013

The Human Rights Commission says new legislation covering pay for people who care for disabled family members is mean-spirited.

The Government announced funding in the Budget to pay 1600 family carers, as part of a policy costing $23 million per year.

But the legislation, which follows a Court of Appeal decision, enables family carers to be paid less than others and prevents legal action by new claimants.

Disability rights commissioner Paul Gibson said the legal action clause denies families their rights.

He said the commission is considering what options, including legal action, it might be able to take.

One of those involved in the court case was Cliff Robinson, the father of two adult disabled children.

Mr Robinson, who has spent nearly 50 years caring for his son and daughter, is upset that only those with high needs will qualify.