Challenge Community Service CEO Barry Murphy has some grave concerns that the Federal Government are starting to use the NDIS as a political football, following their announcement to scrap the proposed Medicare levy rise.
The proposed increase from 2 to 2.5 per cent was to fully fund the NDIS, with the increase forecast to cost Australians around $350 each a year, raising $8 billion over the next four years.
This week Treasurer Scott Morrison scrapped the levy, citing an increase in tax receipts and an economy recording stronger than forecast results meant that the levy was no longer needed to fund the NDIS, although Mr Murphy isn’t convinced.
“Five years ago all sides of parliament voted to form the NDIS, it was historic, and made the NDIS apolitical, but now politics is creeping in, and that is a concern,” Mr Murphy said.
“Realistically we don’t care where the money comes from, as long as the $22 billion a year needed to run the NDIS is guaranteed to keep coming, and the levy rise was a guaranteed income.”
“The Government can’t get the levy rise through the senate at the moment anyway, so they say they don’t need it with this announcement. What happens next year if the economy isn’t doing so well, where will the NDIS funding come from then?”
The Challenge boss can’t speak highly enough of what the NDIS has done nationally and locally for those people and carers living with disabilities.
“The NDIS has had a massive impact locally,” he said.
“As an example years ago if someone with a disability needed accomodation they would essentially have to wait for someone to die, but that is no longer the case – everyone with a disability has a guarantee – the difference is enormous.”
“That is why this announcement is a little bit scary. The last thing anyone wants or needs is for some sort of reneging to start.
“We hope that all is good and nothing does come of this announcement to scrap the levy, but there is always that concern when politics start to creep in.”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.