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Sensible fix can transform Special Disability Trusts.

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Rachel Siewert

Sensible fix can transform Special Disability Trusts

The Senate Inquiry into the provisions of Special Disability Trusts heard today that the trusts were a good idea which had not been taken up because the provisions in the legislation were too restrictive

"It is very clear that with some sensible amendments Special Disability Trusts can be fixed up to make a major difference to the lives of people living with a disability," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

The Inquiry was considering why only 26 Special Disability Trusts have been set up since they were first introduced in 2006.

"Amendments to broaden the eligibility criteria, to improve the range of support a trust funds can contribute to, and fixing the tax arrangements for Special Disabilities Trusts would make Special Disability Trusts more accessible," said Senator Siewert.

"The intention of these trusts is so parents can buy a property for a person with a disability to live in, and/or put aside some money to look after people they love who cannot look after themselves."

"People living with a disability do not have the opportunity to build up a superannuation investment and get the benefit of government co-contributions, what they need is some sort of savings and investment plan that provides for the future."

"What we need is a simple and workable system that allows families to put money aside to provide care. If we help families to do so, while making sure the system isn't open to misuse, then we can both improve their quality of life and reduce the costs on the public purse of providing future care," concluded Senator Siewert.

For more information or comment call Chris Twomey on 0407 725 025

[29 July 2008]