Guaranteeing the essentials
Protecting and boosting the essential services Australians rely on
Protecting disability services
Full and sustainable funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme
The Commonwealth will fully fund its contribution to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, giving Australians with permanent and significant disability, and their families and carers, certainty that this vital service will be there for them into the future.
To help fund the scheme, the Government is asking Australians to contribute, with the Medicare levy to be increased by half a percentage point from 2 to 2.5 per cent of taxable income. This means that one-fifth of the revenue raised by the Medicare levy, along with any underspends within the NDIS, will be directed to the NDIS Savings Fund.
The Government’s decision to increase the Medicare levy from 1 July 2019 reflects the fact that Australians have a role to play, in accordance with their capacity, to ensure this important program is secure for current and future generations.
The NDIS is on track to be fully rolled out from 2020.
States and Territories will be expected to maintain their commitment and contribution to the NDIS and continue to support mainstream services for people with disability.
More than $200 million will be provided to establish an independent NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission to oversee the delivery of quality and safe services for all participants of the NDIS. The Commission will support NDIS participants to exercise choice and control, ensure appropriate safeguards are in place, and establish expectations for providers and their staff to deliver quality supports. The Commission will perform three core functions: regulation and registration of providers; complaints handling; and reviewing and reporting on restrictive practices.
The Government will also invest $33 million over three years to help existing service providers in the disability and aged care sectors grow their workforce. This package will deliver jobs for Australians in rural, regional and outer suburban areas that require strong workforce growth as a result of the NDIS roll out.
The scheme’s cost sustainability is being examined in the Productivity Commission’s review of NDIS costs. Due to be released in September 2017, it will examine factors affecting costs and will help inform the final design of the full scheme.