News 10 May 2017

#Budget2017: the reaction

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budget 2017-18

While not everyone agreed that a funding gap existed, there’s been overwhelming support so far for the Government’s plans to fully fund the NDIS through an increase in the Medicare Levy. Here’s a snap shot of the responses.

The Australian Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) said the government’s announcement will end the uncertainty for people with disability.

AFDO CEO, Mr Ross Joyce:

The Government’s announcement tonight gives peace of mind to people with disability that funding for the scheme is secure and it will continue to be rolled out as planned.

Tonight’s announcement will put an end to the uncertainty that has dogged the NDIS over recent times which has led to great anxiety for people with disability. For those still yet to enter the NDIS, they can go to bed tonight knowing that support is on its way.

It will also provide assurance for all Australians – if they or someone they love acquires a disability, the NDIS will be there for them.

Read ADFO’s media release here

National Disability Services (NDS), the peak body for disability services providers in Australia said the Budget announcement would end politicking over the future of the NDIS and allow everyone to get on with the job of improving the scheme.

NDS Chief Executive Ken Baker:

The NDIS is an insurance scheme for all Australians; it recognises that disability can happen to anyone.

The Medicare Levy is an appropriate channel through which Australians can share the cost of the NDIS. In the long-term, as the Productivity Commission determined, the economic and social benefits of the NDIS will far outweigh the costs.

With funding secure, the focus must turn to ensuring the NDIS is implemented well to deliver on its great promise for people with disability. NDS is keen to work with all governments to smooth the road to the NDIS.

Read the NDS media release here

Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO Australia) and alliance of four Disabled People’s organisations welcomed the levy increase, but said it was concerned about other measures that will affect people with disability, including the cashless welfare card.

DPO Director, Therese Sands:

We are extremely pleased to hear that an increase in the Medicare levy will fully fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme and finally guarantee the support needs of people with disability.

The NDIS is a critical investment in our social infrastructure, an investment for all Australians, now and into the future.

Although we need to see more of the detail, we also welcome the establishment of the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Commission, which will go a long way to protecting NDIS eligible people with disability from violence and abuse, and providing quality NDIS services.

Read DPO Australia’s media release here

Mission Australia said it was pleased the NDIS was fully funded and welcomed new funding for people with psychosocial disability who do not meet the criteria for the NDIS, as well investment in building NDIS workforce capacity.

Mission Australia’s, James Toomey:

While we welcome these measures, Mission Australia continues to be concerned about the gaps that have opened up for people experiencing mental illness. The proposed funding levels are inadequate for vulnerable people who are not eligible for NDIS packages and risk losing the vital mental health supports they currently access.

We look forward to working with the Government to ensure a long-term solution for people experiencing mental illness who need community-based mental health programs as they continue on their journey to recovery.

Further Reading

Minister’s media release: Guaranteeing the NDIS and providing greater support for people with disablility

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