An injection of $1 billion will kick-start the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The funding, to be delivered over four years, demonstrates the Commonwealth's commitment to the scheme, but is less than some disability campaigners had hoped for.
People with disabilities will be individually assessed and will work with local coordinators to develop support plans, taking into account their goals and needs.
The money will begin to flow with an $84 million down payment in 2012-13, rising to $363 million in 2015-16.
More than a third of the funding has been earmarked for care and support costs, while $155 million will be used to employ local co¬ordinators and $123 million has been allocated to prepare the disability sector to deliver services in new ways.
Almost a quarter of a billion dollars will be spent on building an information technology system to measure the performance of the new arrangements, while $59 million will pay for assessments of people with disabilities to determine their eligibility and what support they need. A National Disability Transition Agency to coordinate the implementation of the scheme will cost $53 million, while $17 million has been allocated to research and evaluation.
The scheme will begin in July next year in four locations and deliver personalised care and support for up to 10,000 people. It will grow to support up to 20,000 from 2014-15.
The Commonwealth will begin negotiations with state and territory governments on the four locations where the scheme will start. It expects to name these later this year. The experience in the four launch sites will determine when and how the government rolls out a national scheme.
A national scheme is expected to cost $8 billion a year more than governments now spend on disability services. The Commonwealth will be expecting each state to at least main¬tain their current level of spending on disability services, and will be encouraging them to lift their level of spending to that of Victoria, which spends $8378 annually per person.
The federal government will ask those that participate in the launch to collectively contribute $288 mil¬lion over the first four years of the scheme.
The Commonwealth will pay all administration costs, but will ask states to share the costs of care and support.
In a separate measure, the govern¬ment will inject almost $60 million into 600 businesses which employ people with a disability, supporting about 20,000 jobs.
- $3425 million for individual support packages for those with significant permanent disabilities.
- $154.8 million for local co-ordination.
- $122.6 million to help disability service industry prepare.
- $240.3 million for an IT system.
- $59.6 million for employment support for the disabled
LISA Comment: The original intention of the NDIS was not just more of the same, but to give all people with a disability and their families services with dignity, an entitlement and customer service.
The foremost reason for NDIS is to provide more funding to significantly reduce or eliminate the waiting list for services and equipment.
Equally important, is to ensure all people with a disability have an entitlement to services and equipment.
The following key points are contradictory. Rather than the original intention the NDIS shall be totally federal, the states are now becoming involved, and they have never been able provide creditable services, deliver service in new ways or measure performance.
- Deliver services in new ways.
- Measure the performance of the new arrangements.
- States to at least maintain their current level of spending on disability services.
- Commonwealth will ask states to share the costs of care and support.
We suggest we are certainly to see more services, but just more of the same old crap! People with a disability and their families still treated as lucky to get anything, should feel eternally grateful and should never, ever, complain.