GOVERNMENT FUDGES ON $10 MILLION NDIS INVESTMENT
Senate Estimates hearings have revealed that the $10 million to support the technical policy work required ahead of the implementation of a National Disability Insurance Scheme will come from current department programs and activities.
The Government left the clear impression earlier this year that this was additional money.
“Today we learned that the additional $10 million the Government has claimed to invest towards an NDIS is not new spending it has simply been re-directed,” Senator Fifield said.
In August, the Government committed to:
“…deliver an immediate, additional $10 million, consistent with the Productivity
Commission recommendations, to support this technical policy work.”
However, the Manager of the Disability Long Term Care and Support Taskforce, the unit within the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs responsible for working towards an NDIS, admitted yesterday that:
“The $10 million is reallocated funds from across departmental funds and
Today, FaHCSIA’s Deputy Secretary identified $1.3 million of savings, but was unable to detail where the remaining $8.6 million would come from.
“The Minister needs to guarantee that no current programs in place to help people with disability will be cut as part of the reallocation of funds,” Senator Fifield said.
Senator Fifield called on the Government to provide a clear timeline and funding envelope for the implementation of a National Disability Insurance Scheme.
 Prime Minister, Minister for Community Services, Assistant Treasurer, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, ‘Productivity Commission’s final report into disability care and support,’ Media Release, 10 August 2011.
 Mr Nick Hartland, Manager, Disability Long Term Care and Support Taskforce, FaHCSIA, Community Affairs Legislation Committee Supplementary Estimates hearings, 19/10/ 2011.
 Ms Serena Wilson, Deputy Secretary, FaHCSIA, Community Affairs Legislation Committee Supplementary Estimates hearings, 20/10/2011.