The Palaszczuk Government has stepped in to ensure the Taxi Subsidy Scheme for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants continues over the coming year.
Deputy Premier and Treasurer, Jackie Trad, said today a further $6 million would be committed in 2019-20 to continue the subsidy payment.
“Taxi subsidies were expected to transition to the NDIS funding arrangement by now but under the Morrison Government this hasn’t happened,” Ms Trad said.
“We will not allow thousands of Queenslanders to be left stranded – so we will step in to ensure that doesn’t happen.
“We want to ensure that people with special needs continue to receive this support so they can undertake everyday activities and stay connected with family and friends.
“We understand how important it is for all Queenslanders have access to transport.”
“Queensland has already invested significant amounts under the NDIS funding arrangement and Canberra must fix the gaps.
“We will continue to work over the coming year to ensure the NDIS agreement delivers proper affordable transport options for Queenslanders in the longer term.”
The Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS) provides a co-contribution of up to $25 per trip for people with severe disabilities who are unable to use other forms of subsidised public passenger transport.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the budget commitment continues the same level of investment in the TSS as 2018-19.
This is in addition to $15.7 million to continue TSS for non-NDIS eligible members.
“Scott Morrison and the LNP need to meet their responsibilities under the NDIS, including providing proper support for participants,” Mr Bailey said.
“The Palaszczuk Government will also allocate $6.8 million in 2019-20 to continue incentive payments for drivers of wheelchair accessible taxis to give priority to TSS members.”
A lift payment of $20 is provided to taxi drivers for each eligible wheelchair accessible taxi trip involving transportation of a TSS member who is required to travel in a wheelchair.
Minister for Disability Services and Seniors Coralee O’Rourke said the Palaszczuk Government had been working closely with people with disability, and their representatives, as well as the taxi industry and transport stakeholders.
“We have listened to the concerns of Queensland NDIS participants, their families and carers, disability advocacy organisations and transport providers,” Mrs O’Rourke said.
“We have also strongly advocated on behalf of Queensland participants to resolve these issues with the NDIA and the Federal Government. However disappointingly, these issues have not yet been resolved by the Morrison Government.
“I will continue to push the Federal Government to fund plans fairly by providing adequate transport.”