14 May 2012

Court backs paying carers of the disabled

7:22 pm on 14 May 2012

The Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court ruling that the families of disabled people should be paid to care for them.

In 1999 seven families launched a Human Rights Tribunal case against the Ministry of Health arguing the ministry's policy of not providing certain disability support services to the families of the disabled was discriminatory.

However, the health minister says the Court of Appeal's decision could set a costly precedent for the Government.

The tribunal decided in favour of the families and the ruling was later upheld by the High Court.

Now a further challenge by the ministry has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal, which has also found the families should be paid.

Minister Tony Ryall says the Government still has to consider the judgement, but it must be cautious because it could set a precedent in other areas.

He says some estimates have put the cost at about $450 million.