Campaign Rejects NDIS Cost ‘Scaremongering’
15 November 2012 at 11:24 am
The Every Australian Counts campaign for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has rejected what it calls 'NDIS cost scaremongering' after a new think tank report predicts a ‘monster cost blow-out’ of the scheme.
According to a new report published by private think-tank The Centre for Independent Studies (CIS), the annual cost of the NDIS is set to blowout by at least $7 billion, despite more than 1 million people with a recognised disability missing out on NDIS funded supports.
“It is clear that the NDIS will be a monster of a government program. It will grow and grow to become the new leviathan of the Australian welfare state,” the report’s author, Andrew Baker said.
“A secret government report acquired by The Centre for Independent Studies under Freedom of Information laws said that the NDIS will provide disability care and support to 441,000 people at a cost of $22 billion a year when it is fully operational in 2018-19.
“These figures are substantially larger than the Productivity Commission’s widely reported estimate that the NDIS would provide services to 411,000 people at a cost of $15 billion a year.
“Unfortunately, there is a serious danger that the costs will blowout by billions more,” Baker said.
The Every Australian Counts Campaign dismissed the report by CIS describing it as being alarmist, lacking substance and demonstrating a lack of understanding about the reality of living in Australia with disability.
“Australians with disability, their families and carers expect a firm, responsible budget commitment from the Federal Government and from the Federal Opposition so the NDIS becomes a reality,” campaign spokesperson Fiona Anderson said.
“The CIS report has added together the cost of inflation and wage growth and called this a ‘cost blow-out’.
“Using this model, every government department could experience a cost blow out over the next 30 years. However, just as costs grow with inflation so does the tax base through expected population growth and productivity gains.
“The report demonstrates lack of understanding of disability when it assumes that the whole of the Disability Support Pension population requires the type of funded support that the NDIS would provide.
“Australians with disability and their families should not have the highest rate of poverty in the OECD. The community has made it plain that we expect the NDIS to be a responsible, sustainable government investment in disability support.
“People with disability and their families expect the NDIS to fund the necessary equipment and personal supports they need to get out the door, into university and TAFE and employment, as well as participating in the community like any other Australian can do.
“The NDIS will support intelligent planning, identify the types of support to provide at each stage of a person’s life to maximise health and independence and enable people with disability and their families to make decisions about the types of necessary support that will best meet their goals.”
The campaign has repeated its call for a funding commitment in the Federal Budget to ensure the national implementation of the scheme.
The report, The New Leviathan: A National Disability Insurance Scheme, is available for download.