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Below is an article in The Australian on 29 May by Sue Dunlevy. PS – it is why we need to keep the pressure on!
THE federal government yesterday refused to say whether the full rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme would be completed by the Productivity Commission’s timeline of 2018-19.
The following is the text of an email from the Shadow Minister for Disabilities, Carers and the Voluntary Sector Senator Mitch Fifield in relation to the discussion of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) during the Senate Estimates hearings which are underway in Canberra. These hearings are an opportunity to really delve into the detail of policy and matters of government business and generally see senior public servants grilled by a committee of Senators from across party lines.
The first week of Senate Estimates hearings has provided an opportunity to question the Government as to its plan to implement a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). It is important to question the details of the scheme to ensure we get it right. The Coalition supports the NDIS and I took an opportunity to remind the Government of this.
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
The Victorian Coalition Government is seeking public input into the national standards for disability services in preparation for a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Minister for Community Services Mary Wooldridge announced today. Continue reading »
SENATOR MITCH FIFIELD SHADOW MINISTER FOR DISABILITIES, CARERS AND THE VOLUNTARY SECTOR MANAGER OF OPPOSITION BUSINESS IN THE SENATE SENATOR FOR VICTORIA TRANSCRIPT
ABC News Radio With Marius Benson 22 May 2012 8.45am
MARIUS BENSON: Mitch Fifield you’re accusing the Gillard Government of scoring political points, the Prime Minister in particular is scoring political points on the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The Government is saying much the same about you. Now, politicians accusing the other politicians of playing politics can bring a fairly jaundiced response from the public. Continue reading »
“When it comes to the NDIS, I am Dr Yes,” was Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s statement when he attended the NDIS rally in Perth last month. Continue reading »
Below is an article that appeared in The Weekend Australian from Sue O’Reilly who has written extensively on the NDIS for The Australian.
In an attempt to allay the growing fears of disability reform advocates and counter increasingly strident accusations from political opponents that the Labor government is not serious about creating a National Disability Insurance Scheme – that it’s all just “a cruel hoax”, as many critics have put it — Julia Gillard points to the “lessons of history”. Continue reading »
It has been a big couple of weeks for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Last Tuesday we welcomed the Federal Budget allocation of $1 billion to kick off the first stage.
This is an important commitment and provides for a very solid foundation from which to build the NDIS. It is also the first time that the Commonwealth has seriously invested in disability services as a feature of a budget delivered in a very tight fiscal environment.
As part of this announcement, the Federal Government is asking the States to contribute to the NDIS moving forward, with the split being approximately 78% Commonwealth and 22% State. This effectively turns on its head the current arrangements under the National Disability Agreement, where the States fund the majority of the current $7 billion.
This article appeared in the Courier Mail, 15 May 2012. By Anna Caldwell and Steven Wardill
PREMIER Campbell Newman has rejected calls for a levy to fund landmark disability reform, despite refusing Federal
Government requests for the state to help pay for the scheme.
While both sides of the Federal Parliament agree on the need for a National Disability Insurance Scheme, Mr Newman has dug in his heels over funding the state’s share, and criticised the scheme recommended by the Productivity Commission.
The Gillard Government has not ruled out a levy or a tax to pay the $13 billion-a-year price tag on the full scheme - an option canvassed last year by the Productivity Commission and also requires states to spend extra money to roll the scheme out nationally.
John Della Bosca says funding the NDIS will be less costly than the future expense of disability.
THE Prime Minister’s announcement to fund a National Disability Insurance Scheme has been warmly welcomed – especially by Every Australian Counts who organised the national rallies and has lobbied long and hard.
Its campaign director, John Della Bosca, tells 3Q that people with a disability have been mistreated for years. The plan to institute a Medicare-style scheme a year earlier than recommended by the Productivity Commission is the first step in correcting the inequity.
He urges all states and territories to sign on to the NDIS.
April 23, 2012 Monday
BYLINE: GEORGE MEGALOGENIS
THE Gillard government has been warned that using future budget surpluses to fund a national disability insurance scheme is the least efficient way to secure its benchmark reform.
Analysis by Deloitte Access Economics shows that the $6.5 billion-a-year price tag for the scheme creates both risks and opportunities because new revenue measures would be required. The size of the funding task is too big, Access says, to come from spending cuts alone.
Relying on bracket creep or higher income taxes would cancel any benefits to the economy because the extra revenue reduces consumption by almost the same amount. More efficient options are a national payroll tax, reintroduction of indexation for fuel excise or an increase in the GST, the analysis says.
The Insurance Council of Australia has proposed that bipartisan support for the NDIS should be used to secure federal-state tax reform.
This echoes the “grand bargain” approach the Gillard government took last year to link its climate change policy to a trebling in the tax-free threshold.
The NDIS will be one of the key selling points of next month’s budget. Funding for the early stages of the scheme will be allocated over the so-called forward estimates to 2015-16, but it is not yet clear if Wayne Swan will explain how the final cost is to be met.
Access was commissioned by the Insurance Council to model its preferred revenue option, payroll tax reform, against the others. The findings were passed to the government this month.
A national payroll tax, raising $11.2bn, was the most efficient option if it were used to fund both the NDIS ($6.5bn) and the replacement of pesky state transaction taxes such as stamp duty on insurance ($4.7bn). The states would be better off in the long run because they would get access to a new growth tax.
The trade-off is designed to leave the economy richer because the gains from removing bad state taxes offset the losses from a broader payroll tax, pitched at a lower rate but with no exemptions. Many businesses would, in fact, be ahead under the proposal.
The analysis reaffirms private warnings from the bureaucracy that revenues will not recover for some years and that this poses a dilemma for reform.
Officials point out there are a number of spending proposals that easily pass old-fashion cost-benefit tests. The NDIS is the most high profile of these, where the money more than pays for itself in the longer run because of increased workforce participation — for both the disabled and those who care for them.
With the population ageing and the budget offering only paper-thin surpluses into the second half of the decade, good spending must be backed with cuts or, more likely, increased revenue.
“The NDIS is expected to cost about $13.5bn per annum,” Access says. “Over half this amount is already being spent by state and commonwealth governments on existing disability schemes, which would be replaced by NDIS.
“The source of the funding shortfall of $6.5bn has not yet been determined. The government faces a challenge to return the budget to a sustained surplus.
“The starting point for this year’s budget is expected to be weaker than forecast in part because a weaker global economy is affecting tax revenues. This suggests the NDIS cannot be funded from surpluses. Funding via redistribution of existing budget allocations is likely to be unpalatable and make ERC (expenditure review cabinet) processes more difficult.”
Access notes that the default position — using the surplus or increasing income tax — has the least political disadvantage. But as with all soft options the loser is the economy.
The more efficient revenue options are, on the other hand, less politically popular.
Changes to the GST rate, Access says, have “been ruled out by the government for equity and other reasons”. The same drawback applies on fuel excise.
“Any change has been ruled out by the government,” Access says. “(Also this option) initially may not provide sufficient revenue.”
Join the campaign
- Several Federal Members of Parliament set to hold NDIS forums across Victoria, come and have your voice heard!
- Geelong is in for a double delight as two NDIS forums are held on February 8, 2013! Register today!
- Expert disability panel to discuss NDIS - Frankston - 5 December
- Upcoming NDIS forum in Benalla:15 November
- Rob Mitchell MP and Senator McLucas host NDIS forum in Seymour
- Chelsea, your Federal MP wants to hear your thoughts on the NDIS
- Senator Mclucas invites you to talk about the NDIS in Brand
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In the media
- Meanwhile in WA... 16 May, 2013
- PM on WA & the NDIS 28 March, 2013
- NDIS Legislation Eclipse 22 March, 2013
- Tweet NDIS Questions to the WA Leaders Debate Tonight 19 February, 2013
- Premier Barnett on the NDIS & COAG 5 December, 2012
- Excellence in Disability Reform -Samantha Jenkinson in her own words 29 November, 2012
- Asking our MPS to stand and deliver 26 November, 2012
- Media Release: CAMPAIGN REJECTS NDIS COST SCAREMONGERING 15 November, 2012