The National, Wednesday July 3rd, 2013
THE O’Neill Government’s proposal to set up a pension scheme for people living with disabilities (PLWDs) could have a negative impact on them, director of the Hohola Rehabilitation Centre Brown Kapi said yesterday.
Kapi welcomed the initiative announced by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill last week at the People’s National Congress party’s national convention in Lae but warned the plan could be a disadvantage for PLWDs in the long run if not properly planned and supported.
He said that providing cash incentives could make people with disabilities become a liability which was against the programmes headed by disability service providers.
“I commend the prime minister for the effort to suppport those with disabilities. However this proposal can make them become liabilities rather than skilled and productive men and women in the future,” Kapi said.
“While we want to support them to be useful and constructive providing the pensions could make them become lazy because they are fed and not taught to strive and achieve. Not all of the PLWDs are severely disabled.
“The government must look to develop their skills to compete meaningfully. By depending on pension the number of people becoming liabilities will increase and then how can we right the problems that arise from it.”
Kapi suggested that the pension scheme should be for severely disabled people while the Government should support service providers to upgrade the services for disabled people.
He added that supporting and providing for disability services was more effective and important for the country in the long run.
Kapi also emphasised on development services such teacher training and education for PLWDs and assisting them with specialised facilities and equipment.