The Business Council of Australia supports the establishment of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as proposed by the Productivity Commission’s draft report on disability care and support.
If implemented effectively and accompanied by structural changes to the market for disability care and support, the NDIS will place Australia in a better position to fund an adequate level of disability care and support at a reasonable cost in the longer term. It will also enhance workforce participation for people with a disability, their families and carers.
The BCA does not support a specific levy or additional tax being raised to fund the NDIS. The NDIS will not be fully implemented until 2015, by which time Australia’s fiscal position is forecast to have improved considerably.
The scheme should be funded in part through the redirection of current funding for disability support programs. If the remaining costs cannot be funded from existing revenues from 2015, then the government should cut other lower-priority expenditures and poorly performing programs. The task of identifying those savings could be undertaken by the soon-to-be-established Parliamentary Budget Office.
The submission also argues for disciplined cost control of the scheme over time and a collaborative approach to implementation, drawing on the significant experience of state governments in delivering disability services packages and in their administration of other no-fault insurance schemes.