Thousands worse off in NDIS

May 01, 2018

The $22 billion NDIS is failing the nation’s most vulnerable people, leaving as many as one in five, many with intellectual and mental disabilities, reporting that the ­flagship scheme has left them worse off.

Last year in his budget reply speech, Australian Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi warned:

"I predict today that the NDIS will never, ever be fully funded. The NDIS will be exploited. It will be rorted. In fact, it is already being rorted, and no amount of money will stop those rorts. There has to be a better way.”

The Australian reports, Flinders University researchers, presiding over the longest and most rigorous study of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, have declared it is now “unreasonable” to expect the scheme to be delivered on time, while reporting that about half of all participants have had support cut or experienced no change in support under the new system.

A litany of issues has contributed to the erosion of “fairness and equity” in the disability support system… as state governments withdraw their services, the report says. Labor, both in government and subsequently in opposition, claimed to have delivered and fully funded the social program but the reality, the study authors say, is that much of the work was never done.

“Hindsight suggests that the speed of the implementation was too fast and that more thought needs to go into the practical aspects of the NDIS rollout,” the study says.

Experienced disability workers are leaving the industry and the proportion of providers who said they were unable to fill allied health worker vacancies doubled from 2014 to last year. Staff working at the National Disability Insurance Agency have reported “increasing concerns about high workloads and stress” and there have been “considerable levels of turnover within the agency.”

“Work stress was linked to high rates of resignations and in some cases adverse health impacts for staff,” the report says.

Speaking to Paul Murray Live on Sky News, Senator Bernardi said the scheme is a mess.

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