Hitting National Cabinet’s 8 per cent National Disability Insurance Scheme cost target by 2026 will require immediate changes to both assessment for the scheme and what is covered by “reasonable and necessary” support, a disability expert warns. Source: The Australian.
And addressing fraud and waste in the $42 billion NDIS will “barely touch the sides” of finding the required savings in the system, Grattan Institute disability program director Sam Bennett said.
Amid a fractious state-federal negotiation on new disability funding arrangements ahead of Wednesday’s National Cabinet, and ahead of the public release of a much-anticipated review of the NDIS, Dr Bennett said reining in scheme costs is becoming harder with plan inflation running at more than 15 per cent.
“The kinds of changes that need to come out of the NDIS review if the 8 per cent growth target for 2026 is to be remotely plausible need to be far-reaching and pretty much oven-ready,” Dr Bennett said.
“The relatively low-hanging fruit of addressing fraud and waste in the system will barely touch the sides of what is needed. (For instance) the 17 cases the NDIA currently has before the courts constitute a total alleged fraud value of $16.1 million. This is important work, but has little material impact on the bottom line.”
The 1300-page independent NDIS review, delivered to federal and state governments in late October, will be unveiled publicly on Thursday. It is set to recommend more support be provided to people with disability outside the NDIS in mainstream settings, such as state-funded schools navigating increasing numbers of students with milder levels of autism leaving the scheme to support higher-needs participants.
NDIS changes must be quick to bring costs down: expert (By Stephen Lunn, The Australian)