As government MPs are inundated with thousands of furious emails about our treatment of farm animals, the nation has quietly forgotten an issue which goes to our treatment of kids with autism and Downs Syndrome, kids with paralysing physical disabilities which require full-time care, and the lot of those families whose relationships and wallets are tested by their children’s needs.

NDIS supporters rally in Queensland. Sadly the sheep got a bigger turnout. Photo: Sarah Marshall

The National Disability Insurance Scheme has not only stalled, it is being chipped away at by people who argue that the budget bottom line simply cannot sustain such an expensive scheme. The NDIS is the easiest thing in the world to set aside on cost grounds, because the cost is immense.

The free market think tank The Centre for Independent Studies has crunched some numbers showing the cost of the NDIS could be $7 billion higher than first envisaged.

The original government estimates were that the scheme would assist 600,000 people and cost around $11 billion a year. More detailed subsequent work by the Productivity Commission found the scheme would assist 411,000 people at about $15 billion a year. Now, the CIS has obtained a report from the Australian Government Actuary showing the scheme would cost $22 billion a year.

There is a point to be made about what we as a society choose to spend our money on. For example, we are on the cusp of introducing a vastly expensive subsidised dental program. If forced to choose between helping someone with a nasty toothache or the parents of a kid with locked in syndrome, I know which choice I would make. The same point can be made for the often-generous forms of assistance for middle-class Australians who are buying a house, sending their kids to school, having a child for the first time, and also for the politically-driven industry programs to prop up industries in important electorates. We are good at spending money on people who will not suffer overly without it, poor at spending it on people who suffer permanently in its absence.

But setting this philosophical argument aside, there is no point pretending that $22 billion is not a massive amount of money. Supporters of NDIS, such as me, should try to identify ways in which the scheme can be made more financially viable, otherwise it is doomed to remain in the political quagmire which saw states opting in or out at the last Council of Australian Governments meeting.

The disability sector should also be prepared to engage in a sleeves-up discussion about the way in which disability services are funded more broadly, and whether that funding is necessarily valid. The CIS has done a lot of work examining the explosion in the disability support pension in this country over the past two decades. The number of people on the DSP has more than doubled in 20 years.

Clearly the number of people with disabilities has not. We now spend more than $13 billion a year on the 800,000-plus recipients of the DSP. On these figures, every 20th Australian is so incapacitated that they can never work again. It is absurd. We are killing people with kindness by letting them drift into indolence, solitude and depression by focussing on what they can’t do rather than what they could do.

It also masks the real story about unemployment in this country. And it encourages malingerers. When I worked at The Daily Telegraph, we worked up a special report on the DSP, and in one Sydney suburb found several families where all three generations were receiving it, with ADHD being the most common diagnosis for men in their late teens and 20s who had never had jobs and would probably never have jobs.

The danger too with the NDIS is whether qualification for the DSP could be used as the basis for claiming entitlement to the NDIS, even though less than one-third of the people on the DSP have conditions regarded as severe. The current proposal is that 500,000 of the 800,000 DSP recipients will not be eligible for the NDIS. That is reassuring. But of that 500,000, many of them would be better off if they were off the DSP as well, and taking part in society in the workforce. The money we save as a community could then be redirected to those who are genuinely and shockingly disabled, rather than those who currently access that cash through the easy diagnosis of dubious conditions such as ADHD or inter-generational welfare dependency.

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    • PJ says:

      05:20am | 16/11/12

      $22 Billion a year is a massive amount of money.

      Particularly when
      - We have a Government that has pushed borrowing up to $300 Billion.
      - We have a $120 Billion black hole budget deficit to pay and the ago ernmrnt wont say from where the funding will come.
      - the Mining Boom is over and the days of 3% growth gone.
      - the original estimate from the Government was $10.5 Billion per year, now $22.
      - there will be about 1 million people deserving of assistance that wont be catered for under this scheme.
      - all that money and its not fit for purpose.

      I’m sorry $22 Billion a year is a lot of money.

      Typical Gillard Government total cock up here

    • cheap white trash says:

      06:00am | 16/11/12

      Yes,but dont forget the Great White Elephant the NBN,how many billion there?Just more feel good politics from the lefties,anyway whats 20 or 100 or 500 billion to this lot anyway.its just chicken shit.

    • d says:

      06:39am | 16/11/12

      except the NBN is an asset that WILL make money not increase with cost year after year.

    • ramases says:

      08:04am | 16/11/12

      By the time the NBN is rolled out at considerable cost to all Australians it will be yesterdays technology and keep costing us money we really need not have spent. It will not be an asset but a bloody big hole that money will be thrown into like the the former Labor States de sal plants, another money hole of Labor’s doing.
        As for the NDIS we have seen already the figures being fudged by this Government and the cost blowing out to at least twice the original before it even gets off the ground so who knows how much this scheme will eventually cost the tax payers. This is what we have come to expect from this Government and the rorting that will go on will make it worse.
        Now here’s where I play the Devil’s Advocate. People have at their disposal the medical technology to ascertain whether their unborn child will be normal, that is within the parameters of what is considered and normal baby or if it will will be subject to a disability that will require special needs if born. If people using this technology decide to keep the child with its disability then they should be the ones who pay for the upkeep of that child as it was their decision to have it not the Tax Payer who will be expected to support this decision which was none of their doing.
        Cruel, inhuman, I think not as I’m very sure, in talking with others, that this is on the lips of many but they are too afraid of being labelled to say anything. It all gets back to choices and taking responsibility for ones choices in life instead of expecting others to pick up the pieces.
        Saying this, any person who is disabled due to an accident or illness should be entitled to some assistance depending on the circumstances.

    • Levi says:

      08:27am | 16/11/12

      d, how do you know it will make money? The government saw fit to build a $42,000,000,000 piece of communications infrastructure with no cost-benefit analysis. It’s amazing how Labor’s collective political ego can override the good of the nation.

    • Jack says:

      08:30am | 16/11/12

      The price we have to pay for a phony democracy and be irrelevant too.

    • PJ says:

      08:40am | 16/11/12

      Yep the NBN is already way behind and another classic mis managed project by the Gillard Government.

      Budget blow out city!

    • Rella says:

      08:56am | 16/11/12

      Ramases, not all disability can be picked up in utero. People who have accidents often do so because they are reckless or others were reckless and yet you see them as more deserving? Why? Because they once were not disabled?

      It is not how you acquire your disability that should be the defining point, but whether or not you need far more care and far more support than is reasonable to expect from those close to you in order to live with a reasonable quality of life.

      NDIS has to look at this as well. Some people have some hurdles that can be minor and provided with training and will to overcome, others will never overcome them because of the intensity of need. The NDIS is supposed to cover ‘significant’ disability and we need that conversation as well - what exactly does ‘significant’ mean - in order to keep the inflationary effects to a minimum.

      What exactly is meant by significant? This is the elephant in the room.

    • Tim the Toolman says:

      08:58am | 16/11/12

      “By the time the NBN is rolled out at considerable cost to all Australians it will be yesterdays technology “

      Are you in the industry?  Exactly when will being able to push several hundred gigabits a second across a single piece of fibre not be enough?  And that’s using commercial technology available today, not lab stuff.

    • Phil S says:

      09:01am | 16/11/12

      The NBN will make money because it will be a monopoly on fixed line internet. Allmost all Australians will end up on it.

      Mobile broadband, the only competition, cannot provide the baseload data for everyone, much like renewable energy can’t provide baseload power. Just ask anyone who DOESN’T HAVE A CHOICE about how good their wireless is. The only reason wireless is remotely viable now, is because most areas have fixed broadband alternatives that people use.

      Wireless is physically incapable of providing speeds faster than fiber because the only difference between them is the medium, which we can’t control for wireless. I’m a physicist, so you should be able to take my word on this.

      Many other countries are rolling out fixed fiber services to complement wireless. We need both, and anyone to blind enough to see this is more concerned with playing partisan politics than improving our nations infrastructure.

      Oh and way to miss the point of the article guys…

    • LC says:

      10:13am | 16/11/12

      @ Ramases

      The NBN is a far better scheme than the NDIS as is currently planned. The cost of the NBN will not increase exponentially every year, unlike the NDIS, and now the mining boom is over, it’s going to be there to help support IT, which is the only growth industry of late, even in places such as Spain. Not supporting ways to make things easier and more efficient for these companies to do business is asinine. It isn’t cheap, and I definitely believe that the Libs could keep it within budget. But still, we’re going to make quite a lot of the money invested back rather quickly due to all the old copper cables we’re ripping out and selling to China/India.

      Wireless may provide a convenient way to access the internet for private citizens, but even then, it must be connected to wires at some point at the speed will be limited by the type of wires. A fiber-optic network will make things run much faster than our current copper cable one.

      Labor has stuffed a lot of things up since taking office 5 years ago. But compared to most of them, the NBN in a drop in the ocean when cost/benefit is looked at.

      If you want the NDIS without Australia joining the economic failed states in Europe, we’re going to need to support this growth industry to bring in the tax $$$ and we’re going to have to seriously review the scheme, and give it things like yearly spending caps etc. At present, $22,000,000,000 per year is a bill we cannot afford.

    • LC says:

      10:13am | 16/11/12

      @ Ramases

      The NBN is a far better scheme than the NDIS as is currently planned. The cost of the NBN will not increase exponentially every year, unlike the NDIS, and now the mining boom is over, it’s going to be there to help support IT, which is the only growth industry of late, even in places such as Spain. Not supporting ways to make things easier and more efficient for these companies to do business is asinine. It isn’t cheap, and I definitely believe that the Libs could keep it within budget. But still, we’re going to make quite a lot of the money invested back rather quickly due to all the old copper cables we’re ripping out and selling to China/India.

      Wireless may provide a convenient way to access the internet for private citizens, but even then, it must be connected to wires at some point at the speed will be limited by the type of wires. A fiber-optic network will make things run much faster than our current copper cable one.

      Labor has stuffed a lot of things up since taking office 5 years ago. But compared to most of them, the NBN in a drop in the ocean when cost/benefit is looked at.

      If you want the NDIS without Australia joining the economic failed states in Europe, we’re going to need to support this growth industry to bring in the tax $$$ and we’re going to have to seriously review the scheme, and give it things like yearly spending caps etc. At present, $22,000,000,000 per year is a bill we cannot afford.

    • ramases says:

      10:18am | 16/11/12

      I agree with most of what you say Rella but there are cases and most cases where the disability is picked up well in advance and people make the conscious decision to go ahead and bring that child into the world knowing that it will need support that they cant provide and therefore have to rely on Government, read Tax Payer, funds. Those who are disabled due to their own fault should be exempt from this scheme. Disability from work related accidents or trauma caused by an outside event should be covered but even some of those should be looked at with a critical eye. Some people with a disability who have been injured at work or whatever can lead almost perfect lives without the need to dip into Government coffers.
        Looking at the rorts that now occur in the Disability program there will need to be a strict regime of management to alleviate this also become the cash cow of those who would take advantage of the system.
        The cost blow-outs that have already been pointed out make this a concern for every Australian as its becoming clear that this Government hasn’t done its sums correctly again and we all know what that means after the disasters of some of the earlier Labor Policies that have blown out of all proportions.
        The whole thing needs to go back to the drawing board and redone by qualified people, not politicians.

    • Rella says:

      02:32pm | 16/11/12

      Ramases, you are not right regarding this. There is screening that can now be done that will pick up genetic issues and skeletal issues, but they cannot pick up intellectual disability, autism and a myriad of other conditions that become more pronounced as a child develops. A lot of this is new technology and new genetic tests are becoming available all of the time, but women do not undergo complete genetic screening unless they have already had a child with complex needs or if there are markers in family history. 

      Most disability remains unknown until birth. A lot of the screening tests have associate risks and are not done speculatively. It is really the roll of the dice.

      My daughter has intense care needs. Her siblings are not marked for genetic testing as her disability is not genetic and it could not have been picked up with any test currently available, she was born looking like a perfect doll of a baby. The issues were a slow awakening.

      In the past two years things have changed for our family (I have had sole responsibility for my children since my divorce two decades ago).

      Recently my daughter was given a new kind of funded package (similar to the kind the NDIS will offer). I now have enough care to go back to work. My income has gone from a carers pension to earning $104,000 per year. I am now paying tax. If we add together the tax I am paying and the pension I was receiving the cost of my daughters funded care is neutral. I am trying to finally buy a house so that I am not dependent on welfare as I get even older, just need to save madly for the deposit.

      This package has changed our lives. The poverty we have lived in for most of her life has been lifted and I am able to plan ahead with hope after years of depression and desperation. I just wish that it had come earlier and that my children (now adults) could have had greater opportunity that growing up with a reasonable income can provide (thank God for HEX).

      The costs of this scheme must also be looked at as far as the costs to society of keeping so many people in poverty, with the medical issues that years of poverty and depression can cause. We have to consider the financial benefits as well. Many people with disability can work if they have personal supports that provide the assistance to leave their bed and their house. Their families can work. There is such a large positive to NDIS - the enormous costs can be offsets to the gains to the nation.

      Think of NDIS as a hand up, rather than a hand out. For many people that is exactly what it will be. Sure there will always be the takers, but I think the doers will outnumber them if provided with the resources to become doers!

    • LC says:

      05:17pm | 16/11/12

      @ Rella,

      While I’m sorry to hear about your child, the fact of the matter remains that there is no way that the country can fork out $22 billion a year for it, a bill which will increase exponentially as more and more people claim it.
      If we go ahead with it as is, after 3-5 years the country will go bankrupt and the government will be forced to withdraw the scheme, and people in your boat would go back to stage one. Is that really the solution?

    • Haxton Waag says:

      05:41am | 16/11/12

      I wish you had not brought the sheep into the subject, but rather just focused on the NDIS. I have the feeling that live export is going to go back to business as usual, and I do not like to see any coverage that makes this more likely.

    • Kipling says:

      07:34am | 16/11/12

      Exactly Haxton.

      This issue is of itself an important issue and, despite most of the article being valid copy the opening stanza simply reduces it to nothing more than a smoke and mirrors exercise cheapening both the need to be more effcient and (more importantly, effective) with regard to provision of disability services and funding. Of course, much more broadly that same view needs to be applied to how we do welfare generally.

    • Boo goose says:

      06:32am | 16/11/12

      Most disabled people would love to not be on the pension. Then we too can complain about people getting our tax money for food. We just need employers to give us jobs that pay money instead $1.39 an hour and good feelings.

      As for the NDIS, it’s needed. People are only getting washed twice a week, if there lucky. God help them if there wheelchair breaks before. Infact, for those who care about money more than people. If the disabled children can get the help they need many of them might just become tax payers when they grow up rather than becoming the burden on society today/tonight seems to hate so much.

    • Mahhrat says:

      06:53am | 16/11/12

      I agree, both the NDIS and a sleeves-up discussion are needed.

      Whether those in control of the purse have the courage to have both difficult discussions is the question.

    • Rolls Canardly says:

      11:28am | 16/11/12

      Just what is, “a sleeves-up discussion”, Ahahaharat?
       
      Spoken like a true “shovel-ready” (shit-shovel, that is) public servant.
      And surely, the time for discussion of any time was probably some time BEFORE the thing was announced.
       
      I can feel another “Expert Panel” moment coming on.

    • Mahhrat says:

      11:57am | 16/11/12

      @Rolls:  That you don’t know what work is hardly surprises me mate.

    • Rolls Canardly says:

      12:22pm | 16/11/12

      So a discussion is “work” is it, genius?
       
      Maybe for you.
       
      I tell you what ISN’T work… And that is, haunting this forum for your every ‘working’ moment.
       
      If you applied yourself as much to your public servant job, as you do to posting gems here, maybe to PS would have a better reputation than it currently enjoys.
       
      Just a thought.

    • Martin says:

      07:19am | 16/11/12

      A society is judged by how well it looks after its most vulnerable ... the disabled, the homeless, the displaced, the abused, the indigenous. We’re not doing so well are we ?

    • K says:

      02:11pm | 16/11/12

      Who judges society on this ground? God? Way to trot out a cliche.

    • Kaiser says:

      12:03pm | 17/11/12

      Moral vanity is something we can afford due to economic prosperity. Given that we cannot presume upon the latter we should be circumspect about indulging in the former.

    • Rella says:

      07:32am | 16/11/12

      Two very important comments in this article and ones we should be examining.

      “We are good at spending money on people who will not suffer overly without it, poor at spending it on people who suffer permanently in its absence”.

      “It found the number of people on the DSP has more than doubled in 20 years. The number of people with disabilities has not”.

      This is the national conversation we should be having. You mentioned the dental scheme but failed to mention the $3,000 bribe to keep kids at school. Welfare for the fit, the strong, the lazy and those able to manage without government largesse must be reviewed. The disability support pension eligibility must be reviewed and alongside this reviewing those already on it not just ‘future’ applicants.  Australia is said to have more than a million (or is it 2 million) family carers receiving carer allowance? We need to review exactly what a carer is and at what point we subsidise this care, whether the care is a natural part of relationships with minor demands that are expected within that type of relationship or whether it is an impost and far above the normal relationship of that type and in being so deserves recognition and compensation for the loss.

      Take away the unnecessary handouts and this vital scheme is eminently affordable - even at that cost.

    • Mahhrat says:

      09:30am | 16/11/12

      As a philosophy, I have to agree with this.

      I am confident in saying most people don’t mind helping out those who genuinely need help.  Too much of it goes to those who’d be capable if we didn’t create a systeam that encouraged dependency.

      Of course, to resolve this we need politicians who would actively seek to reduce their roles in our lives smile

    • Kipling says:

      07:42am | 16/11/12

      Provision of welfare broadly has become a bit of a beuracratic beast that is getting out of control. Consequently we need to have more than a few hard conversations. One of those needs to be to shift the focus of welfare provision from being a cost to being an investment.

      As to the number of emails relating to our irresponsible support for inhuman and barbaric slaughtering practices through live export. There is simply no link here.

      Animal cruelty issues clearly effect the way people feel, stongly so and, being placed in the public forum they are in effect in the public mind.

      I say this because the article had the capacity to quite simply put another important issue into the public eye for comment. Sadly the author had to open his correspondence with some immature attempt at emotional blackmail or something.

      People are very capable of being passionate about more than one issue at a time.

      Oh, and as to payments, in NSW at least it has become very hard to actually qualify for disability payments and, apparently, may get harder still. In short yes, we need to have some very difficult conversations, what we also need far more than this though is politicians with an actual desire to get something effective done for those who are struggling. That probably isn’t going to happen any time soon though so it’s back to the emails about animal cruelty…

    • expat says:

      02:24pm | 16/11/12

      “One of those needs to be to shift the focus of welfare provision from being a cost to being an investment.”

      You are never going to get a return on investment from any form of welfare.

    • Ray says:

      07:47am | 16/11/12

      Yes, we definitely need the NDIS.

      Yes, it will be expensive.

      Yes, it must be funded somehow.

      Why can’t it just be part of an expanded Medicare system?  It is not dissimilar to ‘ordinary’ health insurance.

      I know the Medicare levy would need to be increased and that might cost whoever brings it in a few (or more) votes but surely most Australians can understand that government services are not really free and that a new service will require new funding.

    • Steve says:

      08:21am | 16/11/12

      “surely most Australians can understand that government services are not really free and that a new service will require new funding.”

      Actually they don’t. 

      Or if they do, they want someone elses taxes to go up to pay for it.

    • Chris says:

      08:00am | 16/11/12

      My severely autistic son is going to be pushed down the river by the ALP? What a surprise. Guess we need to build some more embassies in Central Africa.

    • Kipling says:

      08:11am | 16/11/12

      Mate I am sorry to say, I reckon your son would be pushed down the river by the ALP, LNP, any of the big four banks, multi national big businesses (take your pick) and a raft of other civilised people groups. I say civilised with all due sarcasm dripping off the word.

      I know how tough you and your family could be doing it and understand your frustration. I would simply point out to you the more than bipartisan approach to dealing with issues in the too hard basket….

    • Emma says:

      08:37am | 16/11/12

      Your severely autistic son is being pushed down the river by people like my mother, on the DSP even though she has no disability whatsoever. Who needs no help at all to shower, dress eat or breathe, yet taxpayers also fund for my brother to be her ‘carer’. Even though he lives in another state!
      Rorters like them are why genuinely disabled people are waiting for help.
      We do not need to raise taxes. Just kick the rorters off the DSP,  there’s some of the money for the NDIS.

    • Emma says:

      08:37am | 16/11/12

      Your severely autistic son is being pushed down the river by people like my mother, on the DSP even though she has no disability whatsoever. Who needs no help at all to shower, dress eat or breathe, yet taxpayers also fund for my brother to be her ‘carer’. Even though he lives in another state!
      Rorters like them are why genuinely disabled people are waiting for help.
      We do not need to raise taxes. Just kick the rorters off the DSP,  there’s some of the money for the NDIS.

    • pete says:

      08:06am | 16/11/12

      Just don’t touch my middle class welfare for this. I need that money to keep up the veneer of high status at the school gate and in my neighbourhood.

      God forbid I learn to budget.

    • Colin says:

      08:29am | 16/11/12

      Peter Singer has one hell of a lot to answer for.

    • Steve says:

      08:33am | 16/11/12

      Whatever limit to coverage is decided in the initial NDIS scheme, its coverage will expand over time. 

      The lawyers will get involved - lots of billable hours there - arguing the medical definitions, and the judges will be moved by their sympathy to interpret the legisaltion and regulations generously.  Well its not their money is it? Can’t be harsh, upsets the conscience.

      One side of politics or the other will see an electoral advantage in promising an expansion in coveage.  Anything to get through the next election. 

      Then there will be a huge dose of ‘government economics’ modelling (which is the same rubbery type used to justify new stadiums and bids for Olympic games) that the costs really won’t be the much extra.  Expect to hear a lot about intangible costs, human rights, equity and compassion. 

      The AMA and the disability sector will join in the chorus, and no-one wants to be seen to be mean and stingy so it will be a vote-winner.  The true costs will only be revealed after the then current crop of MPs and Ministers have moved on.

      This is all inevietable.  All political observers know it.

    • Rella says:

      10:28am | 16/11/12

      Some medical practitioners incorrectly label children/husbands/wives/mothers/fathers and fill the forms just to give their clients additional ‘income’. We need large fines for medical practitioners who sign off on carers pensions, carers allowances, disability pensions,  mental disorders and parking schemes for people who do not really fit the intent of the acts.
      This money can then go into assisting those who really need it.
      Frankly if the legislation is tight regarding eligibility the problem will not be overwhelming. We come back to the meaning of ‘significant’ and how to work this into the act so that it cannot be abused and manipulated by the self interest lobby.

      Government must be cautious but government really must act on this because for those who need this help it is vital.

    • Aussie Wazza says:

      08:39am | 16/11/12

      Government support seems to me to be a real mish-mash with many of the payments unjustified.

      Home grants seem only to result in increasing the prices as vendors work on market tolerance.

      Situations where it is discovered that, being a ‘sufferer’ entitles you to a pension or grant seem to suddenly find ‘sufferers’ in droves.

      The ‘Oldies’ will remember the early T.V. days when after every showing of Dr Kildare doctors and hospital waiting rooms filled with ‘sufferers’ of THAT which Dr. Kildare had treated, such as Fravelises and Paridium Syndrome.

      People ‘removing’ goods from shops or houses are not thieves but ‘sufferers’ of PMS or NRMA and need help (At the tax payers expense of course).

      Little Tarquin didn’t bite his kindy mate because he’s a spoilt little shit , but because he has the latest ‘in fashion’ malady.

      Likewise the reason Sunbeam can’t get a job is more likely to be lazyness than a ‘condition’.

      Assessments of sufferers and their needs by fair and honest unbiased qualified assessors would weed out the bludgers and thus spread the available funds between the true needers.

      Surely any society and especially one like Australia where we have high living standards and nutrition and very little stress has something ‘wrong’ when 600,000 of 22,000,000 has a problem requiring full time care.

      To each according to his needs. (Not his wants).

    • Stephen says:

      09:07am | 16/11/12

      What’s the problem. I have a solution that will not only fund the NDIS with change, but will simultaneously eliminate huge waste, unnecessary jobs and excess management.

      Eliminate the States, their parochial governments and duplicated bureaucracies.

      Imagine…a single nation…a single government. No more idiotic internecine squabbling and competition. And billions of dollars available for the disabled.

    • Felicity says:

      09:44am | 16/11/12

      Wazza you are correct Government support seems to me to be a real mish-mash with many of the payments unjustified.
      For instance people who are blind receive a pension not means tested, many of these people have good jobs that pay well,and still accept the pension.
      The Carers allowance is not means tested and many receiving it only drop in once or twice a week to see an aging parent, again an unnecessary payment.
      Many people on the DSP could benefit from compulsory retraining after a period of rehabilitation, i am sure if we looked hard enough we would find many ways to save
      The people who are struggling to survive are those who have severe dependent disabilities and their carers who have no opportunity to work, in fact the dreaded 25hr rule prevents them from being away from the person they care for for more than 25hrs, they can’t study or volunteer or work

    • Anjuli says:

      10:02am | 16/11/12

      We need a disability scheme for those who truly need and deserve it,instead of money why not have it so they can access every service which is required for their disability free.I know it sounds simple but surely we can do better than what we are doing now ,which is some cases is special though not enough.

    • Get Real says:

      10:24am | 16/11/12

      David, once again you imply that people who are disgusted by the treatment of our animals overseas somehow do not care about issues like this. Why is that?

    • Sarah Bath says:

      10:26am | 16/11/12

      the solution is simple as we have been arguing.
      Firstly abolish the defence force and redirect funding into health and also sustainable herbiculture.

    • Tim says:

      10:46am | 16/11/12

      No, no, no.
      The answer is to abolish health and redirect the funding into sustainable herbiculture. Particularly of the sticky icky variety.

      Then we can use the profits to purchase hookers and blow. Win Win.

    • LC says:

      12:14pm | 16/11/12

      Opened a history book recently, Sarah? Paraplegia, quadrapelgia, T1D, cancer, and all those nasty little conditions that were covered under an NDIS weren’t cured in the days when we only had herbal medicines. Funny about that.

      And abolish the defence force? You’re f*cking kidding right? It’d be a very simple task for any old despot to march on in and take over with no defence force. And it’d be very, very tempting for them, with our reserves of minerals and urainium, which would be great for buidling a nuke or three…

    • I hate pies says:

      12:27pm | 16/11/12

      Yes, let’s abolish the defence force, good thinking 99. War will never happen again.

    • willie says:

      12:42pm | 16/11/12

      Vote 1 Tim

      You’re idea of funding the national coke habit with the sale of cannabis is truly inspired

    • Ray says:

      10:29am | 16/11/12

      The Government’s record of spending as if there were no tomorrow and thereby incurring massive budget deficits and wastage (pink batts, BER, NBN etc) does not inspire confidence that it can get the NDIS right . It is in the national interest that the Government keeps putting off implementation of the NDIS.

    • Tell It Like It Is says:

      10:32am | 16/11/12

      Who could argue about the principles of NDIS and certainly other areas like dental health should take a back seat.
      But the bottom line here is the inept government’s costing for this. So typical really.  Looks like they pulled a number out of the sky and made promises and…..No surprises there.  Well done again, Goose and Gillard who walks around like a chicken with her head cut off, promising here and handing out there, as with so many other things like the Murray Dowling Scheme, with no thought as to where the money might come from or the fallout generally down the line. So amateurish and embarrassing is this government. And as for the questionable ethics and morality of some…..

    • Tim says:

      10:50am | 16/11/12

      I"ve been a supporter of the NDIS but the $22B figure is simply too much. We can’t afford it with the current state of the budget.

      We need to make sure that we’re getting value for money and that only truly needy people have access to help.

    • AdamC says:

      10:53am | 16/11/12

      The NDIS was raised as a thought bubble, probably to distract the media from whatever Labor was cocking up at the time.

      As currently proposed, the NDIS would be a fiscal time-bomb. If we were ever going to really bring in an NDIS, there would have to be much more of a reality check on its design. Payments would have to be capped for a start.

      As it is, we also simply cannot afford to fund the scheme, even if it were pared back substantially.

    • KimL says:

      11:36am | 16/11/12

      I am in favor of the NDIS but if it is to costly, look after handicapped children first. The adults could come into the scheme when we have more money. No .. there are no handicapped in my house. But life is hard enough to navigate without being disabled

    • Rella says:

      05:19pm | 16/11/12

      The adults are already on the scene KimL, desperately needing this scheme, what do you propose to do with them?

      At least children are just beginning their journey and are cute enough that people throw money at their charities. They have young, fit parents who have young, fit extended families who all are willing to assist. It becomes crisis when these children become adults and supports drop off.

      Parents can look after their young children, but who is going to care for older people who are not so cute and whose parents use by date is running out?

    • Aussie Wazza says:

      12:19pm | 16/11/12

      From a different perspective.

      The money being paid out is staying in Australia and going round and round with tax being taken at every turn.

      It is occupying people who, if not helping here would instead be increasing the unemployment numbers.

      100 jobs x 120 people = 20 unemployed; on the dole. Money for no effort.

      Somewhere I remember (circa 1980) reading that there was NO unemployment in China.

      ‘No job? Grab a broom; You’re a street sweeper.’

      With around 6% unemployed here right now, many through desire. Wouldn’t it be benificial if all unemployed had to grab a broom or duster at least one day a week and help out with a true deserving NDIS recipient?

      Observing, it would expose to many, circumstances that are generally swept and hidden under the rug.

    • lostinperth says:

      12:48pm | 16/11/12

      $22 billion for a NDIS. Considerably less for a subsidised dental plan that will help a lot more people.

      I think your “people having a bad toothache” comment is patronising and offensive. Bad dentistry affects over a million people in Australia, there are many examples of pensioners and those on low incomes who cannot eat a healthy diet due to dental problems.

      If it is a case of having to choose one, I would pick the option that is cheaper and helps more people.

    • Trevor T says:

      03:03pm | 16/11/12

      Totally agree with ‘Steve’, the definition of disability will balloon out and half the population will be eligable. This is what has happened in America and it will happen here.  Good intentions, but unless the definition is strictly limited to the needy and obvious cases, the next generations will pay severly.  Any sensible comment suggesting to reduce the eligability will be ‘slaughtered’ by the ‘do gooders’. The dentist discussion is a classic example.

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      05:31pm | 16/11/12

      NDIS is a good idea but knowing Australians, it will be wreaked by abuse and fraud. They seem to take a perverse delight in cheating the system….

    • Mr Tiny says:

      10:07am | 17/11/12

      Without an NDIS and with the baby boomers getting too old to look after there disabled adult children I predict a sharp rise in murder suicides in the next few years.

 

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