Spinal Injury Group Back Budget
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by Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation 0 Comments
The increased allocation in the 2016-2017 Budget for the empowerment of persons living with disabilities has been commended by the Fiji Spinal Injury Association (FSIA).
The Association’s executive director, Joshko Wakaniyasi thanked Government for its commitment to make rights a reality for persons living with disabilities.
“In totality, we see this is one of the best budgets. The remarkable initiative announced such as the 300 per cent tax incentive will encourage potential employers to provide employment for disabled persons.
“We are sincerely grateful to Government for enabling us to voice our views; for the first time, we had the opportunity to participate in the budget consultation; for the first time we are being heard, for the first time our consultation is taken into recognition; and for that we are thankful to the Government,” Mr Wakaniyasi said.
“We would like to sincerely thank the Honourable Attorney-General and Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, for reaching out to us through budget consultations, to speak to us directly and the positive outcomes of our collaboration is seen through the new budget.”
As a strong advocate for disability rights in Fiji, Mr Wakaniyasi has called on persons living with disabilities to fully utilise the new opportunities created by the Government.
“Apart from the tax incentives, the budget also provides for a consolidated effort within all the ministries, like Ministry of Health, Ministry of Infrastructure, to ensure services for easy accessibility for those living with disabilities. Mr Wakaniyasi said.
“Now we have to play our part as well, the onus is also on persons living with disabilities to maximise on the opportunities provided.
“The Disability Bill that is before Parliament will further enhance the opportunities for persons living with disabilities to play a more proactive role in national development. For the first time it has included a sign-language interpreter for the hearing-impaired for those watching via television.”
While highlighting the Ministry’s budget allocation earlier this week, Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Rosy Akbar said it’s a way forward in creating a barrier free society.
“And what makes our budget extraordinary is the effort of the Government to mainstream inclusive development.
“We talk about persons living with disabilities and here we have a Government that has actually taken a very bold stance in making sure that our disabled members are not forgotten,” Ms Akbar said.
“Apart from the $1.6 million facilities which is going to be established in the west for our western disabled members we also have initiatives such as the 300 per cent tax deduction on wages paid to disabled employees for the first three years of employment through revisions of the Employment Taxation Scheme.
“Initiatives like these are going to truly lead us to create a barrier free society for all Fijians.”
The Fiji Spinal Injury Association has over 2000 members and over the years has been assisted through social welfare grant annually and tax and duty exemption on the shipment of medical supplies.