The National Disability Insurance Scheme has become a “magic pudding” for governments, service providers and some people with a disability, the head of the Albanese Government’s NDIS review warns. Source: The Australian.
Bruce Bonyhady also says that governments at all levels must return to providing support for people with disability outside the scheme, after virtually vacating the field since the NDIS’s introduction 10 years ago.
More children with developmental concerns should have greater access to early intervention in mainstream settings rather than relying on a place in the NDIS, Professor Bonyhady adds.
In two landmark speeches to a disability conference in Newcastle today, Professor Bonyhady will say governments are too often looking to use the NDIS as a replacement for services in health, early childhood, education, housing and transport.
“We must stop thinking of the NDIS as though it is a limitless magic pudding,” Professor Bonyhady says.
“What has become clear is that, often without intending to, governments, service providers, and some people with disability and their families, have all started to treat the NDIS as a limitless resource. Governments, while funding the NDIS and worrying about its increasing costs, keep helping themselves to new slices of the NDIS.”
Figures from the National Disability Insurance Agency released last week revealed the scheme would cost an estimated $35 billion in 2022-23, and had 610,000 participants, up by nearly 76,000 in a year. The average annual plan payment is more than $60,000. Along with aged care, health, defence and interest payments on national debt, the NDIS is one of the fastest rising costs in the budget, the latest Intergenerational Report will reveal on Thursday.
NDIS Minister Bill Shorten hand-picked Professor Bonyhady last October, along with former senior public servant Lisa Paul, to co-chair an independent review of the scheme amid concern about its sustainability and poor participant experience. In April, Mr Shorten said the NDIS had “lost its way” and needed an urgent reboot.
NDIS ‘no magic pudding’, says disabilities expert Bruce Bonyhady (By Stephen Lunn, The Australian)