//
you're reading...
Australian Current Affairs

The hidden costs of Australia’s National Disability Insurance Scheme


Australia NDISYou do not have to own a building to get naming rights. You just have to be the biggest tenant.

So it is with DisabilityCare, the national disability insurance scheme. The Prime Minister wants naming rights so she promises a levy, starting next year, to part fund it. And Tony Abbott was not about to give it to her, so he supported the levy.

Australia now has a prospectively partially funded trial national disability insurance scheme. But parents, charities and state governments built their schemes over generations. The commonwealth government could have taken WA Premier Colin Barnett‘s advice, surely the nation’s most articulate leader, and simply enhanced each state’s disability system. No, the commonwealth wanted naming rights. It believes it is the biggest tenant.

Whether the tenant is paying enough rent for naming rights is questionable.

The scheme is partially funded by a commonwealth levy on a levy, Medicare+DisabilityCare. Neither levy covers anywhere near the intended scheme it is meant to fund. Abbott has sensibly indicated that he will abolish the levy as and when the budget is repaired. In fact, he should insist on a sunset clause on the new levy, say three years.

It would be prudent to abolish both the Medicare levy and the DisabilityCare levy in time and fund these schemes from consolidated revenue. He should also withdraw his Paid Parental Leave Scheme levy. Enough with the levies!

Tacking on bits and pieces of taxation is a sure sign that a government has not managed its budget. Rather than abandon inessential programs, governments keep adding new ones, and rob from essential ones, hoping no one will notice.

The big scheme that has been let slide is SecurityCare, aka the Australian Defence Force, which is now in deep disrepair.

The proportion of the whole that the DisabilityCare levy will fund depends on the number of recipients. The scheme is meant to fund long-term care and support (but not income replacement) for people with “significant” disabilities.

The government has agreed to fund the Productivity Commission recommended number of 411,250 people.

Of these, 329,510 people would have significantly reduced functioning:

• 222,310 require daily assistance with core activities;

• 50,320 with self-management limitations;

• 56,880 with significant and enduring psychiatric disability.

In addition, a further 81,740 would receive early intervention support.

The commission did not use the “profound” and “severe” disability categories as used by Australian Bureau of Statistics, but the profoundly disabled was a starting point in arriving at the commission figure. Others were ruled in or out on the basis of the permanence of the disability. Taxpayers should be aware that, in addition to profoundly disabled, the ABS estimates that there are 350,000 who have “severe core activity limitation”, many of whom have permanent conditions. This means that many are knocking on the door of the scheme. The pressure in future to include some of them will be immense.

The commission estimated that a further $6.5 billion (net) would be required in addition to the $7.1bn already spent annually on people with a disability – a 90 per cent increase. The Australian government actuary, however, has reworked the figures and suggests $10bn would be required, a 140 per cent increase.

The Prime Minister has promised that every dollar raised by the levy will go directly to fund DisabilityCare Australia. So what? It will be raided in time, just like the Higher Education Fund and the major infrastructure Building Australia Fund. Thank goodness there was no sovereign wealth fund to raid.

The pressure to lobby for the next group of needy is infectious. And some strange characters get in on the act. For example, why did the Australian Bureau of Statistics make this statement? “Just under one in five Australians had a disability. This represents approximately 4.0 million people.” What is it with the bureau? Does it need a headline? Disability rises with age, so the one in five figure conflates the severely disabled with those who require no special assistance or are the normal part of ageing. The main disabling conditions were back problems and arthritis. Welcome to my world.

Governments have failed to keep the number of Disability Support Pension claimants in check. The numbers have almost doubled in the past 20 years, and yet the rate of occupational injuries and disease has decreased dramatically from 21 per 1000 to 13 per 1000 since 1997. The medicos who wave through the pensioner may wave through the disabled.

Proponents who remind me that DisabilityCare will only cost a dollar per day extra need reminding that I would love a dollar a day for every politician who told me their scheme would only cost a dollar a day extra. Naming rights do not come cheap.

Source: The Australian – No, disability care will not cost a dollar a day
 

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 14,942 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

  • So I made the short list for a job with Forbes-Wilcannia Catholic Care, but they want to know my age, religion & ma… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… 1 hour ago
  • RT @docbaty: A quick note about the Nationals bargaining position around climate change, and that it’s possibly one of their strongest nego… 2 hours ago
  • RT @docbaty: Nobody at COP26 is going to care about whether or not Australia has a 2050 goal. They’ll be interested in what we’re doing tod… 4 hours ago
  • RT @CraigHill01: So the Nationals have backed @ScottMorrisonMP's plan for net-zero by 2050. Problem for Scott is, he doesn't actually have… 8 hours ago
  • So the Nationals have backed @ScottMorrisonMP's plan for net-zero by 2050. Problem for Scott is, he doesn't actually have a plan. #auspol 21 hours ago

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

China’s trade practices come under fire

China’s trade practices come under fire

China’s trade policies have come under strong criticism during a review at the World Trade Organization (WTO). The US accused China of “skewing the playing field” by using “unfair trade practices” such as preferential treatment for state businesses. Meanwhile Australia said the country’s behaviour was “inconsistent” with its WTO commitments. China said it was committed […]

China’s economy weakens, then gets even worse and now there’s a global shipping crisis. What’s next?

China’s economy weakens, then gets even worse and now there’s a global shipping crisis. What’s next?

The world is waking up to the fact that maybe being dependent upon China for its goods is not such a good idea. In 2019 at about the same time the US was closing on the trade deals with China, COVID emerged in China. In 2019 China’s economy was also beginning to slow down. COVID […]

U.S. needs nuclear spacecraft to compete with China, NASA official tells Congress

U.S. needs nuclear spacecraft to compete with China, NASA official tells Congress

A NASA official told Congress on Wednesday that the United States needs more nuclear spacecrafts in order to compete with China. “Strategic competitors including China are aggressively investing in a wide range of space technologies, including nuclear power and propulsion,” Bhavya Lal, NASA’s senior advisor for budget and finance, told the House Science, Space, and […]

China shows off drones recycled from Soviet-era fighter jets

China shows off drones recycled from Soviet-era fighter jets

China has for the first time showed off retired 1950s era fighter jets that have been converted to unmanned drones, with satellite photos of two of its east coast bases near Taiwan showing a large number of the jets on site. The People’s Liberation Army’s Eastern Theater Command published the photos of two Shenyang J-6s […]

China’s propaganda machine is intensifying its ‘people’s war’ to catch American spies

China’s propaganda machine is intensifying its ‘people’s war’ to catch American spies

“Let’s fight a ‘people’s war’ against the spies, so that they cannot move a single step and have no place to hide!” That was the rallying cry of a Chinese military newspaper on social media over the weekend, as Beijing urges public vigilance against American espionage following the launch of a CIA mission center dedicated […]

China’s blackouts break power cutoff pledge

China’s blackouts break power cutoff pledge

As China struggles to control the latest surge of power shortages, the government seems to be hoping that the public will have short memories for how it has dealt with similar problems in the past. After months of downplaying the power crisis and recommending partial fixes, central government authorities belatedly acknowledged the spread of electricity […]

Cadence Column: Asia, October 18, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, October 18, 2021

According to Chinese and US claims, China has a high-orbit, hypersonic missile that can hit a target within 24 miles. And, that’s why China is the new boss of the world and everyone else should hate America. The end. But, that’s not the end in the mind of Taiwan or the US Pentagon. This week, […]

China ‘making its nuclear submarines harder to detect’

China ‘making its nuclear submarines harder to detect’

China is upgrading its nuclear missile-equipped submarines to make them harder for rival powers such as the US to detect, reports suggest. The People’s Liberation Army Navy has redesigned its type 094 submarines to make them quieter, The South China Morning Post reports. Defence experts believe the Chinese 094 submarine can carry and launch the […]

Could China’s economy collapse?

Could China’s economy collapse?

For almost half a century, Chinese officials have overseen one of the greatest economic transformations in human history. The country has gone from collectivized farms and famine to world-leading tech companies and gleaming megacities connected by superfast trains. More than 800 million Chinese have been pulled out of poverty as the Communist Party and its leader […]

China’s economic crisis is much bigger than expected – its property market, the largest in the world, is collapsing

China’s economic crisis is much bigger than expected – its property market, the largest in the world, is collapsing

The situation in China is much worse than originally thought.  The largest property market in the world is set to collapse and the ramifications will impact the entire world.  We’ve been discussing China’s economic issues for years.  Recently this was even discussed with Steve Bannon on The War Room. We now have information that the […]

%d bloggers like this: