A Looming Disaster
The NDIS has changed lives but is now becoming another government good intention turned into just another rorted.
It sounded like a good idea at the time.
How often have we heard those words right after the irreversible consequences of poor decisions.
They're not often said in politics because that would admit the policy or determination was flawed…and politicians don't like admitting that.
Sometimes it's hard for the rest of us too but speaking truth to power needs to be done. So here goes:
The National Disability Insurance Scheme is a looming disaster.
When it was introduced, some of us warned it would require a bottomless pit of taxpayer funding because of its structure and the inherent weakness of politicians.
The market for disability services is just like any other. If you pay people to be disabled, the demand to be classified as such will swell.
Coupled with a steady dilution of the definition of a disability in recent time, demand for NDIS services has leaped..as has the cost.
To be effective and to be financially viable, the NDIS needed a strict eligibility framework – not a free for all.
Of course that would create winners and losers which is never a desire of the political class…even more so when it comes to those living with a disability.
To do so means rendering sober assessments of whether a blind person is worse off than a paraplegic for example. A determination no politician is publicly willing to make.
That meant the NDIS was open to all and this created an entire new economy to help part government from your money.
Of course many in disability services do an amazing job but the cost of the NDIS is spiralling out of control….as many of us warned it would.
In last weeks budget, it was forcast the NDIS would cost more than medicare in three years –that's more than $30 billion servicing an expected 530,000 people.
It's 50% more than expected because the payment per recipient has increased by 48% in the last three years and there are claims of client over-servicing by some providers.
Under current trajectory, Eventually the NDIS will send the country broke.
Let's recognise that such sums of money directed to support those living with a disability and their carers has been life changing.
But if its not sustainable then many of those lives will be shattered again unless action is taken now.