The commitment by the Federal government of Australia to launch the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) has the potential to be one of the most exciting instruments for turning disability rights into real rights. However, much will depend on the details of how the NDIS is designed. Early indications give grave cause for concern.
LISA Comment: People saw the NDIS as the light in an otherwise very dark tunnel of hopelessness, and helplessness of begging and praying for a few crumbs of hand-out help. NDIS was flagged to be a fair-go for such disadvantaged Australians.
Whereas, in the cold-light-of-day, it is looking like being little more than a token gesture in the foreseeable future.
No matter what is said about well-to-do Australia, those with disabilities and their families are well down the pecking-order.
Even the high pecking order is suffering from the present economic slowdown - defence, education, health services, national dental, aged care, budget surplus etc, etc. Disability was never seriously considered against these heavy weights.
The publicly funded universal health care system, first called "Medibank", now "Medicare", was almost defeated at its inception in the 1970s.
Like most in the USA, no one wants to pay for universal benefits. All want lower taxes, which means less universal services.
With no chance of a Medicare levy getting the tick of approval from the general public, the Productivity Commission resorted to general, Federal, revenue, to fund the NDIS for which everyone’s hand is held out.
But, they claimed funding for the NDIS would be fenced. What a joke! No general revenue is sacred! When government needs money, they will raid any coffer/s!