Certainty for NDIS, but more needed on jobs for people with disability

A woman with short brown hair and black glasses stands wearing a black coloured jacket in front of a television screen mounted on a wall, she is smiling. The television screen reads "2018 Budget Lockup - Tuesday 08 May 2018 Federation Ballroom 12:00-19:00. There is a photo of a building above the writing on the screen
Therese Sands PWDA Co CEO at the Federal Budget lock up

People with Disability Australia (PWDA) welcomes the Federal Government’s commitment to its share of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) so that people with disability have the services and supports they need and deserve.

“We hope that this now ends the uncertainty for people with disability, the ongoing political debate and the cuts to social security and services as trade-offs for NDIS funding,” said Therese Sands, Co-CEO of PWDA.

“Looking to the future, the Government now needs to hold firm to this commitment. We will continue to keep a close watch to ensure any change in economic performance does not lead to this promise being eroded.”

“We will be holding all sides of government to account for the clear statement in the Budget papers that the NDIS is fully funded, now and into the future.”

“People with disability want to be able to get on with having an ordinary life, just like everyone else. We want to live in the community, be at work and go to the footy.”

“A good government makes sure that people with disability have the same right to access public services as everyone else. Secure funding for the NDIS is a key way that the government has said they will do this.”

“Although we need to see the detail, we welcome the $92 million over five years that will assist people with disability who are not eligible for the NDIS to continue to receive support under Commonwealth programs.”

This budget also continues the staffing cap at the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). People with disability are frustrated and concerned that money is spent on outsourcing work to for-profit consultants and businesses, instead of resourcing the Agency to deliver an NDIS that provides genuine choice and control.”

This Budget includes $9.9 million for Disability Employment Service (DES) providers to transition to the new reformed DES system. This is only an interim measure over two years, and won’t address concerns that the DES system has largely not succeeded in supporting people with disability to gain and maintain employment. This measure also doesn’t provide the supports people with disability will need to make informed choices about DES providers in the reformed system.

“Often people with disability are locked out of paid work which entrenches structural inequality. We want the government to develop and implement a National Employment Strategy or Jobs Plan for people with disability.”