FPDN welcomes the announcement in last night’s Federal Budget to increase the Medicare levy by 0.5% in order to ensure that the National Disability Insurance Scheme is fully funded. This provides funding security for this once in a generation national reform.
The Government has allocated $209.0 million to establish an independent NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission to oversee the quality of NDIS providers and enforce the rights of participants, which is another positive inclusion in last night’s budget.
We also note that $30 million fund will be established to create employment opportunities for people living in regional and remote Australia working in disability and aged care. This is good news for our mobs and has the potential to ensure that disability and aged care services are culturally appropriate.
A $52 million Indigenous Research Fund will be established and FPDN welcomes this investment. FPDN will work to ensure that Aboriginal led, community grounded disability research is included. A new fund to support Indigenous Entrepreneurship was also announced.
Some punitive welfare measures were announced that will impact on vulnerable people including people living in poverty and people with disability. Treasurer, Scott Morrison stated in his Budget speech that the Government will be ‘denying welfare for a disability caused solely by their own substance abuse.’
The Government also intends to increase mutual obligation requirements for people receiving welfare, including a drug testing trial for new welfare recipients. However, international evidence does not support this approach.
Disabled People’s Organisations Australia’s Budget 2017 media release is available here.
Treasurer Scott Morrison’s full budget speech is available here.
Budget documents are available here.