Hours before Treasurer Scott Morrison hands down the 2017 Budget, MS Australia is reading news reports that the government will tonight announce full funding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) beyond 2019, and that this is ‘forcing’ them to find an extra $6 billion in annual savings to meet implementation costs.
MS Australia (MSA) is encouraged to hear the current Australian Government is re-committing to a fully-funded NDIS.
MSA CEO Deidre Mackechnie says, “We are all aware of the long running argument between the Coalition Government and the Opposition regarding whether or not the NDIS is ‘fully funded’. This news is encouraging, but we remain concerned about any possible impact of linking the savings to measures that may have an adverse impact on people with multiple sclerosis (MS), especially those doing it tough financially. MS is a really expensive disease. And we all remember the disastrous 2014 Budget that linked the establishment of the Medical Research Future Fund with GP co-payments!”
For several years, MSA has been asking the Government to continue committing and re-committing to the full funding and timely roll out of the NDIS.
A re-commitment to a fully-funded NDIS gives reassurance and certainty to the more than 23,000 people in Australia living with MS. Not everyone with MS needs to access the NDIS; many will never be at the point of disability from their MS that warrants NDIS access. But, the MS community needs a fully-funded NDIS that leads to certainty of service based on need.
A fully-funded NDIS will ensure the Scheme focuses on the real challenges of implementation. We need appropriate participant plans with pre-planning support and Coordination of Support mandated, recognising the unique needs of people with MS and other progressive diseases. We also want an NDIS that addresses the challenges of support and service access in rural and remote parts of Australia.
MSA looks forward to tonight’s budget announcements and will have more to say in the days to come.
For an interview with MSA CEO, Deidre Mackechnie please contact:
Lisa Montague - 0412 002 544 - firstname.lastname@example.org (Tues 9/Thurs 11/Fri 12 May)
or Andrew Giles - 0417 393 842 - Andrew.email@example.com (Wed 10 May)