Peak body for disability providers calls on Federal Government to recognise value of NDIS – not just cost

The peak industry body for disability providers, National Disability Services, is dismayed with misleading claims in the MYEFO about the National Disability Insurance Scheme’s impact on the Federal Budget.

NDS interim CEO Laurie Leigh said that the NDIS has been transformative for the half a million people with disability it supports, while delivering significant benefits to the economy.

“The Treasurer is only looking at half the picture,” Ms Leigh said.

“The NDIS has been a great social and economic reform. It has transformed lives and delivered huge flow on benefits to the community.”

“The economic benefits to Australia are enormous. Recent modelling by Per Capita found that for every dollar invested in the NDIS there is a $2.25 return to the economy. In 2020-21 alone it will generate $52.4 billion in value.”

Ms Leigh said that the Federal Government’s claims that a looming budget blow-out has been caused by the NDIS are misleading and are exacerbating existing trust issues between people who work in disability and the Government and NDIA, the agency that oversees the scheme.

“What we have seen is selective and often catastrophising analysis geared to make the case for cutting access and support for people with disability.”

“NDS members are reporting that the people they work with are having their NDIS plans cut, and that they are struggling to find ways to support their clients’ needs with impossible resourcing.”

Ms Leigh said the recent NDS report, State of the Disability Sector, underscored the ongoing issues.

The report found that:

  • Sixty-five per cent of providers said operating conditions were getting worse, up from 61 per cent in 2020 and 38 per cent in 2019.
  • Just 12 per cent of NDS providers said they thought the NDIA works well with providers, which was less than half of the number last year.

“It’s time the Federal Government recognised the enormous benefits the NDIS has for people with disability, the broader community and the economy,” said Ms Leigh.

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