Scott Morrison – Morrison warns NDIS faces billion-dollar cost blowouts without changes
The federal government has faced fierce community backlash over its plan to require independent assessments for all participants to re-evaluate their eligibility for the scheme and the level of support and funding they receive. In the biggest reform to the scheme since it began, the assessments will be conducted by a panel of private providers such as psychologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech pathologists – but not the person’s usual therapists.
New NDIS minister Linda Reynolds announced she would pause the contentious reforms last month amid growing concern from the sector and concerns from several state governments over the handling of the changes.
Labor’s shadow minister, Bill Shorten, last month warned the program was being placed at risk because of neglect and vandalism under the government’s management.
“It is quite clear from the PM’s comments this government is using rubbery figures and spooky music as a pretext to slashing and privatising the NDIS,” Mr Shorten said on Thursday.
“There are plenty of places efficiencies can be made in the NDIS – by cracking down on criminals targeting the scheme, and overspends on lawyers and consultants – without hurting people with disability.”
Next week’s federal budget will show the Commonwealth’s contribution to the scheme will increase by $13.2 billion between this year and 2023-24. This financial year the Commonwealth will meet 55 per cent of participant support costs nationally, which will lift to 58 per cent next year.
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