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BUDGET: Historic Funding Commitment to Disability Scheme


BUDGET: Historic Funding Commitment to Disability Scheme

The Not for Profit sector has applauded the Federal Budget's move to fully fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme - DisabilityCare into the future.
The Budget announcement sees an investment of $14.3 billion over seven years to roll out DisabilityCare Australia across the country.
Treasurer Wayne Swan said this unprecedented long term funding security will provide people with significant and permanent disability, their families and carers the certainty they deserve.
The Federal Government secured agreements for a full scheme roll out by July 2018 with the New South Wales, South Australian and ACT Governments.
Agreements have also been reached with the Victorian, Queensland, Tasmanian, and Northern Territory Governments for a full scheme roll out by July 2019.
"These agreements are based on agreed funding and governance arrangements, with the Commonwealth contributing over half of the costs of the scheme once it is fully rolled out," Swan said.
"These agreements mean around 90 per cent of Australians will be covered by DisabilityCare Australia in the event they are born with or acquire a disability.
Under the terms of the agreements, the Commonwealth will pay for the full cost of participants who turn 65 (50 for Indigenous Australians) and choose to remain in the scheme.
The Commonwealth will also contribute:
 • Around $3.3 billion in 2018-19 to support around 150,000 people with disability in NSW
 • Around $2.6 billion in 2019-20 to support more than 100,000 people with disability in Victoria
 • Around $2.1 billion in 2019-20 to support around 97,000 people with disability in Queensland
 • Around $760 million in 2018-19 to support around 33,000 people with disability in South Australia
 • Around $245 million in 2019-20 to support around 11,000 people with disability in Tasmania
 • Around $175 million in 2019-20 to support more than 5,000 people with disability in the ACT
 • Around $105 million in 2019-20 to support around 7,000 people with disability in the NT
The Government says it will continue to seek the agreement of the Western Australian Government for a full national roll out of DisabilityCare.
The Budget funding includes a contribution to the cost of individual care and support packages, administration of the national scheme and other supports for people with disability, their carers and families.
The Federal Government has introduced legislation to increase the Medicare Levy by .5% to 2% from July 2014 to fund DisabilityCare.
"This is an important moment for Australians with a disability and provides a lifeline to around 460,000 people with disability and families mired in crisis," the president of People with Disability Australia Craig Wallace said.
"We now call on the coalition to support a permanent levy flowing into a secured fund as a way of safeguarding the scheme and ensuring that it continues to grow and manage growing future demand for disability services," said Mr Wallace. "We cannot afford a return to the rationed system which kept 600,000 people in poverty and locked out of employment."
"The creation of this investment fund growing over ten years will raise $20.4 billion and the future of the fund is linked to the future of the NDIS and the future sustainability of the financial arrangements with the states," Wallace said.
"Clearly the Disability sector and schools are the big winners out of this budget with the funding of Disability Care and the Gonski schools reform," Stephen O'Flynn from accounting firm Moore Stephens said his Budget analysis.
"The Government is hoping that these two major reforms will be their legacy. With Disability Care obtaining bi-partisan support it will now be up to future governments to determine how to fund the scheme."

References and further information

The original article was produced by ProBono News.

To view this article, visit the ProBono News website.


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