Search icon


21st Apr 2022

Aussie PM tells mum of autistic boy he’s ‘blessed’ because his kids don’t have disabilities

Steve Hopkins

Scott Morrison does it again!

Australia’s prime minister has continued his stellar run of offending people – this time with a comment about the “blessing” of not having children born with disabilities.

Scott Morrison was taking part in the first leader’s debate against Labor’s Anthony Albanese on Wednesday when the pair were asked about the future of the country’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) by an undecided voter.

The woman, identified only as Catherine, began her question by saying she had a four-year-old son who lives with autism and saying that she is “grateful” to receive NDIS funds.

She continued: “I’ve been told, to give my son the best future, I need to vote Labor. Can you please tell me what the future of the NDIS looks like under your government?”

The PM began his response with a personal approach, asking Catherine what her son’s name was, to which she replied, Ethan.

He then made what appeared to be an unintentional blunder which disability advocates, the opposition, social media users, and media the world over, have skewered him for.

Morrison said: “Jenny and I have been blessed, we’ve got two children that don’t — that haven’t had to go through that.

“And so, for parents with children who are disabled, I can only try and understand your aspirations for those children.

“And then I think that is the beauty of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.”

The “blessed” line, irked many.

Labor senator Katy Gallagher told Channel Seven that, as the parent of a daughter with autism, Morrison’s comment upset her, saying: “I found it really offending and quite shocking, and it is something that people who have a disability, children with autism, it is a kind of response they get all the time.”

She continued: “That people are blessed not to have what they have when, in actual fact, every child is a blessing. “Certainly my daughter enriches my life and my partner’s life every day.”

Morrison, according to a report by ABC News, has since apologised.

“I accept that it has caused offence to people,” he said, adding: “I think people would also appreciate that I would have had no such intention of suggesting anything other than [that] every child is a blessing.”

Morrison said he was trying to convey that he did not have a first-hand understanding of the challenges people who have children with disability faced: “I was seeking to respect the challenges they face, not the opposite.”

He also added that he had apologised directly to Australian of the Year – tennis star and Paralympian – Dylan Alcott, who had earlier criticised him.

Amongst the criticism of Morrison, it was also noted that both he and Albanese had later been pictured speaking to Catherine and asking her about her experience dealing with NDIS at the leader’s debate.

Related links: