Governments will need to invest an additional $25 billion over the next five years if they are to achieve plans to rein in the National Disability Insurance Scheme’s growth by raising disability services outside the scheme, an actuary has estimated. Source: The Guardian.
It comes as disability organisations, particularly those advocating for the autism community, raise concerns about who will be able to access the scheme in the future, and whether those who can’t join the NDIS can still be well supported.
The figure of $5 billion a year over the next five years in additional services, estimated by Anthony Lowe, chair of Actuaries Institute’s Public Policy Council Committee and former NDIS provider CEO, could go toward establishing early intervention programs for those with developmental delays, he said.
It’s a key part of the recent independent review’s recommendations to fix the NDIS the Albanese government has deemed “unsustainable” on its current cost trajectory. Estimates suggest it could tip past the $100 billion mark a year in a decade’s time.
The review recommends the NDIS’s exponential growth can be reduced by adequately lifting services outside the scheme, called foundational supports, so that fewer people need to join.
If adopted, the changes would see the NDIS’s individualised funding packages form part of a spectrum of accessibility and inclusion measures, including “foundational supports” and mainstream services over a five-year period.
At a Committee for Economic Development Australia event last week, NDIS Minister Bill Shorten said the NDIS had “struggled under its own weight” and had become “the only lifeboat in the ocean as non-NDIS disability supports have eroded since the introduction of the scheme”.
But he cautioned changes were not about kicking people off it.
Extra $25bn needed to make NDIS sustainable by boosting other disability services, actuary says (By Sarah Basford Canales and Stephanie Convery, The Guardian)