Govt Wants National Debate on NDIS Funding
6 October 2011 at 12:28 pm
|Image: A supporter of the 'Every Australian Counts' campaign meets with the Federal Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie.|
The Federal Government is firmly committed to implementing a National Disability Insurance Scheme, however it remains unsure how the $6.4 billion in funding should be raised, the National Tax Forum has heard.
An article by Ben Packham in The Australian reports that the Government is no closer to working out how to raise the $6.4 billion needed to pay for the proposed disability insurance scheme.
According to the article, Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin used the Government’s Tax Forum to call for a national debate on how the $6.5 billion in funding needed for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) should be raised.
The Gillard Government announced in August this year that it would start working with State and Territory Governments on measures that will build the foundations for a NDIS, following the release of the Productivity Commission's final report into the matter.
The NDIS will provide insurance cover for all Australians in the event that they, or a family member, acquire a disability. Initially it is estimated it will provide care and support for around 410,000 people with significant disabilities.
The Productivity Commission's report recommended that funding for the scheme – projected to cost around $6.3 billion per year – be a core function of government, just like Medicare.
The Productivity Commission proposed several options for funding – with its preferred option being that the Australian Government should finance the entire costs of the NDIS, through an insurance fund financed by a combinations of ‘cuts in existing lower-priority expenditure, fiscal drag, and if necessary, tax increases’.
Every Australian Counts – an online campaign calling for the establishment of an NDIS – has so far received the support of more than 77,000 Australians who have signed up to support the campaign. Visit the campaign website here: http://everyaustraliancounts.com.au/
Watch a video update on the Every Australian Counts campaign below.