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Friday, 29 January 2016

Calls for investment in Australians with disability for future prosperity

These stories about National Disability Insurance Scheme funding surfaced in yesterday's media:

What’s the Budget fuss?, Every Australian Counts, 29 January 2016
This week a major national newspaper led with an “exclusive” story about the costs of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. It’s a curious story given there is nothing new in it. It’s no secret that the NDIS comes with costs, which have been carefully forecast and planned for. The real story remains that the cost of doing nothing is even higher ...

Media release issued by Australian Cross Disability Alliance, 28 January 2016 :
The Australian Cross Disability Alliance is calling on the Government to end speculation about the National Disability Insurance Scheme and to give certainty to all Australians with disability.

The NDIS is an essential part of our social infrastructure that will ensure that all Australians with disability finally have the support they need. This long overdue investment in people with disability and their families will enable more people to move into work, and also create jobs in the disability support sector. Reporting on just the costs of the NDIS misses the increase to GDP from the NDIS and the other economic benefits of having more Australians able to participate in the community.

Delivery of the NDIS on time and in full was a key commitment by the Coalition to Australians going into the 2013 federal election and one that, so far, they have delivered under two Prime Ministers.

"Over the last five years, the NDIS has gained the overwhelming support of State and Territory Governments, both sides of Federal politics and the Australian community in a way that few reforms have before. Australians have simply decided this is the right thing to do. It’s time to take the NDIS out of the annual pre-Budget and policy fights to provide peace of mind for people with disability, their families and carers. These are issues affecting millions of Australians. Time and again, we have seen that most people see the sense in having social insurance for disability in the same way as we carry insurance for other major financial and life events," said Craig Wallace, from the Australian Cross Disability Alliance.

"So far, the Government has delivered on their 2013 election mandate to deliver the NDIS in full. Any change to this commitment would be a major breach of trust with the Australian people. There would be a strong reaction from across the political divide, especially as we enter an election year."

"The existing disability support system is broken, failing and becoming increasingly expensive - the NDIS is a carefully designed response to this crisis that will cost less over time, while giving people access to the support they need."

“We have always welcomed a discussion about funding the scheme so it is sustainable and we believe in a rational and sensible approach to that conversation is in the context of the tax white paper and broader discussions about the revenue, tax and spending mix of our nation. A range of options should be on the table to ensure we deliver the NDIS."

Targeting people with disability, and the supports they need to get out of bed, have a shower and leave the house is no answer. Commentary on the NDIS rollout should also balance implementation with the downstream benefits as more people with disability return to work; carers are freed up to pursue employment and people are kept out of expensive high care options,” said Mr Wallace.

The Australian Cross Disability Alliance is an alliance of four national Disabled People’s Organisations (organisations made up of and led by people with disability):
People with Disability Australia (PWDA)
First Peoples Disability Network Australia (FPDN)
National Ethnic Disability Alliance (NEDA)
Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA)

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