Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPO Australia), is alarmed and concerned that the Federal Government is linking budget cuts in the Omnibus Bill, now before the Senate, with funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
“We are shocked and troubled about this announcement from Treasurer Scott Morrison that once again links cuts to social security with funding for the NDIS,” said Ms Therese Sands, Director, DPO Australia.
“We have stated clearly, including in our pre-budget submission, that we reject any ties to funding the NDIS by cutting social security. We strongly reject measures that would seek to fill any perceived or potential shortfall in NDIS funding through a shift in revenue from other human services. ”
“We have campaigned over the last year against the creation of an NDIS Special Savings Fund because of our fear that it would be used in exactly this way, creating an expectation that the NDIS will be funded from ongoing trade-offs against other equally important human services expenditures. This is exactly what is happening, even before the Bill for the establishment of the Special Savings Fund has passed the Senate.”
“The NDIS provides essential ongoing support for many people with disability in Australia. These same people with disability will also be hurt by the proposed cuts to income support, childcare and family payments. These cuts are counterproductive to the aims of the NDIS, and it is simply unacceptable that funding for the NDIS should be linked to measures that will see so many other people in our community worse off.”
“The Government must stop this kind of politicisation of the NDIS and restore certainty to people with disability across Australia by taking the funding out of the budget cycle,” said Ms Sands.
“Trading off essential and vital disability support with cuts is a false economy that will hurt many people with disability and is simply not on, completely unfair, and goes no way to ensure the long term sustainability of the NDIS, which the Government says is the intention.”
“The NDIS is not a political football to be tossed around like this. People with disability across Australia will be rightly very angry and concerned about this decision. We call on Senators to block these measures and halt this ongoing trade-off for NDIS funding,” said Ms Sands.
Disabled People’s Organisations Australia (DPO Australia) is an alliance of four national Disabled People’s Organisations (organisations made up of and led by people with disability).