Taxi subsidies for people with disability to increase 1 July

Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme rally in Macquarie Street

“I welcome the announcement that subsidies for people with disabilities who rely on taxis will increase from 1 July. People with disability will be relieved to have a start date for the subsidy increase, which the Government announced in December last year”, said Ms Jan Barham, Greens NSW spokesperson for Disability.

The Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme provides people with disability a half-price fare. The subsidy is currently capped at $30 per trip. From 1 July 2016, the subsidy will rise to $60, which will provide a full 50% discount on fares up to $120.

“People with disability have campaigned for years to increase the subsidy, which has sat at $30 since 1999. The subsidy should be indexed to CPI so that it doesn’t once again fall behind in covering the cost of taxis.”

“We must ensure there are enough wheelchair accessible taxis on our roads, particularly in light of the legalisation of ridesharing services like Uber. I have also asked the Government about how they will ensure ridesharing companies do not discriminate against people with disabilities, which we have seen cases of in the past few months.”

“Once again I would like to congratulate those who have campaigned to have the subsidy increased. This will have wide-ranging benefits for many people, facilitating participation in their communities and helping them to lead full lives.”

 

Greens NSW MP and Transport spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi said:

“Transport accessibility should be a priority for the NSW Government. The Government has a responsibility to provide affordable transport options for people who are unable to use the public transport system.”

“While public transport accessibility still has a long way to go, particularly on the train network, the doubling of the taxi transport subsidy is long overdue and a welcome reform,” she said.

For further comment, please contact Jan Barham directly on 0447 853 891 or Mike de Waal for Mehreen Faruqi on 0474 437 111.

Government’s Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme and Wheelchair Accessible Taxi announcement: http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/b2b/releases/20160529-wheelchair-accessible-taxis.pdf

Jan’s media release welcoming the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme reform announcement on 17 December 2015: http://www.janbarham.org.au/category/portfolios/disability/

NSW Government fails future generations by ignoring climate change and housing crisis

“A forecast that ignores the major threats to the wellbeing of future generations, climate change and the crisis in affordable housing, is irresponsible” said Ms Jan Barham, Greens NSW spokesperson for Climate Change and Housing.

“It’s beyond negligent for the NSW Government to release an Intergenerational Report that fails to provide a plan for action to limit global warming and how NSW is preparing for the increasing impacts of climate change in the coming decades”.

“This report makes the nonsensical prediction that mining royalties and coal prices will continue rising through to 2056[1], but makes no mention of renewable energy and how we must transform our society.”

“The Government’s so-called vision of the future is blinkered to the most serious risks and without a plan for capitalising on the opportunities for clean energy and adaptation.”

The NSW Government’s response to affordable housing is confined to forecasting that 45,000 new homes will be built each year up until 2056, despite average new dwelling numbers hovering around 30,000 per year over the past 15 years.

“Increasing supply does not automatically translate to more affordable housing. NSW needs to adopt affordable housing targets if it is to address the chronic problem of housing stress across the state.”

“The Government has also admitted that it is increasingly dependent on stamp duty for revenue. As long as the Government is reliant on stamp duty windfalls to balance its budget, it will be responsible for fuelling speculative investment in housing and driving up house prices.”

“With the number of people aged 65 and over forecast to comprise 25% of the population by 2056, affordable and accessible housing must be increased to meet rising demand because most older people will be on low incomes.”

For further comment, please contact Jan Barham directly on 0447 853 891

Complete NSW Intergenerational Report 2016 can be found here: http://www.treasury.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/128144/Intergenerational_Report_2016_-_full_report.pdf

[1] p.75