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NDIS creates $52 billion economic boost


11 November 2021 at 4:27 pm
Luke Michael
A new report says the economic impact of the NDIS is significant, even compared to other types of government spending 


Luke Michael | 11 November 2021 at 4:27 pm


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NDIS creates $52 billion economic boost
11 November 2021 at 4:27 pm

A new report says the economic impact of the NDIS is significant, even compared to other types of government spending 

Underfunding the National Disability Insurance Scheme could cost thousands of Australian jobs and reduce the nation’s GDP, according to new modelling that shows a $2.25 benefit to the economy for every dollar spent on the scheme.

Progressive thinktank Per Capita assessed the broad economic activity generated by the NDIS, which it estimated employs more than 270,000 people over 20 different occupations.

Its latest report said the economic impact of the scheme was “likely very large, even compared to other types of government spending”. 

Researchers said a conservative estimate of the multiplier effect of NDIS spending would be around 2.25, meaning the economic contribution of the scheme in 2020-2021 was about $52.4 billion.

The modelling comes amid ongoing questions from the federal government around the sustainability of the scheme. 

NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds told Senate Estimates in May she believed the NDIS was growing at an unsustainable rate, with costs “increasing far more significantly, year on year, than was ever expected”. 

But the report notes that any move to curtail or underfund the scheme would have significant costs on the economy.   

Researchers estimate that for every $1 billion the NDIS is underfunded, around 10,200 jobs would be lost. This would also lead to a 0.14 per cent reduction in total GDP.  

Rohan Braddy, the president of National Disability Services – which commissioned the research – said the report showed how the NDIS was “transforming lives and creating jobs, with the benefits flowing across the economy”.

NDS has launched a national campaign warning the public about the consequences for all Australians if the NDIS is weakened. 

“We have been concerned to see the focus change over the past year from the benefits of the scheme to the cost, with ongoing attempts to restrict access to the scheme and reducing supports available,” Braddy said. 

“We are hearing many [reports of] people we support having their plans cut, while providers are seeing constant pressure to reduce the levels of support we provide under the NDIS. 

“We will be seeking a commitment from all candidates in the upcoming election to keep the NDIS strong and reject calls for cuts to access and supports.”


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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