Statement on the National Disability Insurance Scheme Levy

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is an important reform, but announcing a levy to fund part of the scheme before determining the details of how the scheme will work is putting the cart before the horse, BCA Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said today.

What business and the community need to know is what will be the service delivery and insurance model, how will eligibility be determined, who will provide the care and how will it be funded, and what are the appropriate roles for the Commonwealth and the states, Ms Westacott said.

Without the answers to these questions, it’s impossible to accurately assess the full costs of the policy over the long term, whether the suggested levy is appropriate, what the extent of the gap is and whether we are able to sustainably fund the gap over time.

The work also needs to be done to ensure the scheme will operate in a way that delivers on the outcomes people will expect.

The government should finish the pilots, independently evaluate them, bed down the detail, including the service system reforms needed on the ground to improve outcomes, and agree a 10-year implementation plan with the states.

Then and only then should we put all the funding options on the table, including a levy on all taxpayers, and determine the best approach following a cost–benefit analysis.

The community has always been willing to make its contribution to important initiatives if they are confident their money is being spent wisely and in a considered, carefully planned way.

If a proper cost–benefit analysis concludes a levy is the best way to go, it will give the community that confidence, Ms Westacott said.

For further information contact:
Scott Thompson, Director, Media and Public Affairs
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (03) 8664 2664 | Mobile 0403 241 128