NDIS delay unacceptable

1 May 2014

People with Disability Australia (PWDA) opposes any delay to the full rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). We hold grave concerns about the Government’s commitment to the scheme after a delay was recommended in today’s Commission of Audit report. President of People with Disability Australia, Craig Wallace said, “The scheme is already being rolled out over seven years.  Delaying it further will plunge people with disability and service providers into a no man’s land of uncertainty well into the next decade.”

PWDA agrees that the NDIS needs to be delivered in an efficient and effective way.  However, economists have repeatedly stated that “from an economic perspective, the benefits of the NDIS will exceed the costs” (Productivity Commission 2011), and that “the cost to governments of disability support without reform would be two to three times the cost of the NDIS” (PriceWaterouseCooper 2011). The NDIS must be fully funded and delivered on time so that we can start to reap these economic benefits, as well as the vast improvement in lives of people with disability that the scheme can deliver.

People with disability also stand to lose under Commission of Audit recommendations if the National Disability Insurance  Agency (NDIA) is made a prescribed agency under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA).  “Reporting to a Minister is problematic,” said Mr Wallace, “and we are concerned that people with disability will be left with another bureaucracy governed by  the whims of Ministers rather than a piece of sovereign national infrastructure dedicated to the people it was designed to serve.  The NDIA only opened yesterday and we are already talking about turning it into a government department.”

“The Commission of Audit is advisory to Government, and the Government should consider its recommendations in the context of its ironclad guarantee to the Australian people that they would deliver the NDIS on time and in full,” said Mr Wallace. “The Coalition has committed to delivering the NDIS in keeping with the Productivity Commission’s vision and the timetable detailed by the intergovernmental agreements between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories (Coalition Policy for Disability & Carers, August 2013)”, said Mr Wallace, “and people with disability expect the Coalition to deliver on its promises.”

MEDIA: Craig Wallace 0413 135 731
Phone: 02 9370 3100 Toll Free: 1800 422 015 Email: pwd@pwd.org.au
People with Disability Australia Incorporated (PWDA) is a national disability rights and advocacy, non-profit, non-government organisation. We have a cross-disability focus, representing the interests of people with all kinds of disability and our membership is made up of people with disability and organisations mainly constituted by people with disability.
Our vision is of a socially just, accessible and inclusive community, in which the human rights, citizenship, contribution, potential and diversity of all people with disability are respected and celebrated.