The Turnbull Government will commit $3 billion in funding to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), taking an important step towards fully and responsibly paying for the scheme, which will transform the lives of around 460,000 Australians living with disability, their families and carers.
Since coming to office, the Government has sought to bridge Labor’s $4.1 billion NDIS funding gap in 2019-20, growing to over $6 billion in future years, in order to provide certainty for Australians with disability, their families and carers. The $3 billion in funding will be directed to the NDIS Savings Fund Special Account which the Government is seeking to establish in order to guarantee the scheme’s final funding source. This is on top of more than $2 billion that has already been earmarked for the NDIS Savings Fund Special Account to date.
The $3 billion will be realised through measures outlined in the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Omnibus Savings and Child Care Reform) Bill, introduced into the Parliament last week. The first part of the Government’s strategy to reallocate Omnibus savings was announced last week with the Government committing $1.6 billion of savings achieved from reforms to the Family Tax Benefit system to pay for the Government’s landmark Jobs for Families child care package. This leaves $3 billion in measures in the Omnibus bill, which will be credited towards the NDIS Savings Fund, when it is established.
This is good news for Australians living with disability, their families and carers who are set to benefit from the NDIS.
The Government is fully committed to properly, adequately and sustainably funding the NDIS. This task has been made more difficult by the shortfall in funding left by Labor. Labor promised to fully fund the NDIS, but never delivered. The Turnbull Government promised and is delivering on its commitment.
The passage of the Omnibus Savings and Child Care Reform Bill will take the total credits to the NDIS Savings Fund Special Account to over $5 billion, ensuring that Labor’s $4.1 billion NDIS funding gap in 2019-20 will be met without increasing taxes or higher debt. Further savings will be required to ensure that we can fill Labor’s NDIS funding gap, which will grow to over $6 billion each and every year.
Opposition and crossbench Members and Senators are urged to pass the legislation currently before the House of Representatives that establishes both the NDIS Savings Fund Special Account and the $3 billion contribution to the Fund through the omnibus Bill.
It is critical that the Parliament backs the Turnbull Government’s plans to get on with the job of properly and fully funding the NDIS ahead of the full implementation of the scheme from 2019-20. The sustainable and guaranteed funding through the Omnibus legislation will secure the viability of the NDIS and the support it will provide for hundreds of thousands of Australians living with disability, their families and carers.