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Government slugs disabled to bolster bottom line

Boudin told PM that PWD had received numerous calls from people either denied access to NDIS or else having their plan substantially reduced in the second and subsequent year of participation for no apparent reason. “We’ve been told it’s all about sustainability of the scheme,” he said. “But then we get to a budget situation and there is an underspend in the billions, we’re appalled; it just doesn’t make sense”.

Record number of sick or disabled Newstart recipients as Coalition seeks savings

New data from the social services department shows there were 199,907 Newstart recipients with “partial capacity to work” in December, an increase of 50% – or about 65,000 – over the past five years. The figure represents 26% of the 722,923 on the dole. Over the same period, the number of disability pensioners fell from 832,024 to 750,045, and the rate of successful disability support pension claims also declined markedly – from 69% in 2010-11 and 40.6% in 2013-14 to 29.8% in 2017-18.

What Does The Federal Budget Mean For The Disability Sector? 

The federal budget: boring to read, but very important to the disability sector. This blog summaries what it says about the royal commission, mental health funding, new disability pension reporting requirements and the famous NDIS underspend.

Why people with disabilities want former public servants to resign from royal commission

Almost 60 groups representing people with disabilities say public servants are too conflicted to be effective as royal commissioners tasked with shining a light on violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation suffered by their constituents. In an open letter, they ask commissioners Barbara Bennett and John Ryan to step down from the royal commission on the basis that both have held senior roles in the main federal and NSW government agencies that could come under scrutiny during the inquiry.

Disability groups call for conflicting commissioners to step down

In a joint statement, the Australian Federation of Disabilities Australia (AFDO), Disabled People’s Organisations Australia, and Disability Advocacy Network Australia called for John Ryan and Barbara Bennett to step down over conflicts of interest, that the groups say will severely hinder the effectiveness of the inquiry.

‘It’s not flash being disabled’: PM launches $527 million disability royal commission

Mr Morrison detailed the establishment of the commission in Canberra on Friday morning before he is expected to call an election before the end of the weekend.  More than $500 million was allocated in Tuesday night’s budget into the Brisbane-based inquiry which will run for three years.  The inquiry is set to examine the mistreatment in institutional settings, workplaces, schools, home and the community.  It will be led by former NSW Supreme Court judge Ronald Sackville, who will be assisted by five other commissioners, some of whom have lived experience of disability. 

Difficulty accessing the NDIS blamed for unspent $1.6 billion

The Government has cited slower-than-expected uptake of the scheme, but experts say bureaucracy and administrative issues have blocked access. ‘This “underspend” has been the result of delays in the rollout of plans, the bureaucratic maze that even the most capable of carers or people with disability struggle to get through, and the difficulties that people with plans have in accessing services that are not there.

Slow rollout of NDIS and automated welfare system to save budget billions

Disability insurance scheme comes in at $1.6bn less than expected, but advocates blame shortfall on problems for people accessing the scheme.  “We are six years into the rollout and we have heard of people waiting two years for a wheelchair, so it needs concerted attention,” said Kirsten Dean from disability advocate group Every Australian Counts. “Nobody thought it would be easy, but this is a big and complicated scheme and it needs greater attention,” she said.

Few initiatives for disability in Federal Budget

n a Federal Budget light on disability initiatives, the headline announcement is the provision of $527.9 million over five years to support the work of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. The bulk of this funding will be spent from 2019-22.

NDIS price increases for a sustainable and vibrant disability services market

Closing date: March 31, 2019

The Federal Government has today announced an increase to price limits for therapy, attendant care and community participation under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), effective 1 July 2019. The new prices include a minimum increase of almost $11 per hour for therapists and up to a 15.4 percent price increase to the base limit for attendant care and community participation.

Have your say about the future of national disability policy

People with disability, representative organisations and other civil society organisations and allies identified several limitations to the current Strategy in submissions to the Senate inquiry held in 2017. These included under-resourcing, a lack of concrete, measurable goals, and lack of clarity about the roles and responsibilities of state and territory governments in implementing the Strategy.