Disability advocates continue to demand the Morrison government reinvest unspent NDIS funds back into the landmark scheme to get it working the way it should – instead of using funds to bolster the budget bottom line.
Figures reported today show a $4.6 billion underspend in the NDIS in the last financial year.
“People with disability and their families are going without desperately needed support – all while the government uses unspent funds to prop up the budget bottom line,” said Kirsten Deane, Campaign Director for Every Australian Counts.
“The underspend in the NDIS is the direct result of problems with the way the scheme is being rolled out. People are waiting too long to enter the scheme – and once they do enter they are waiting too long for the support they desperately need.
“Most people in the NDIS are not spending all the funding allocated to them because they cannot work their way through the bureaucratic maze that is the NDIS to get the help they need. They are desperate for help and support – they just can’t get it.
“We have been holding forums across Australia and talking to thousands of NDIS participants, their families and carers. We know these dollars are urgently needed to fix the scheme and get it working the way it should.
“We have heard heartbreaking stories of people who have been left without vital equipment and ended up in hospital as a result. We have heard of families pushed to breaking point because they have been unable to get the help their child needs. We have heard of people hospitalised as a direct result of the stress they have been put under as they try and navigate their way through the red tape and bureaucracy.
“This absolutely cannot be allowed to continue. Urgent changes must be made to get the scheme working the way it should and finally get people the help they need.
“Everyone wants the NDIS to work. In fact people with disability, their families and carers, service providers are out there every day trying to make it work. But there are roadblocks at every turn.
“We are demanding the Morrison Government rethink their continued opposition to keeping unspent funds in the scheme.
“The NDIS should run like a real insurance scheme – where money not spent is put away for a rainy day or invested back into the scheme to get it working the way it should.
“This is not the scheme people with disability and their families fought for – and it is certainly not the scheme they deserve. They deserve much better,” said Ms Deane.