Securing a sustainable NDIS a priority for 2024

One Nation has cautiously welcomed reforms to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) recently announced by the Albanese Labor government but more must be done to ensure the scheme is sustainable.

Cracking down on ‘dodgy providers’ and tightening eligibility for NDIS support is a good start, but unsustainable pay rates and bogus therapies also need be addressed.

As Senator Hanson noted in a speech to Parliament during its last week of sitting, when the NDIS was established Australians were told it would provide ‘reasonable and necessary’ support for people living with a disability.

“The NDIS has funded things that are anything but ‘reasonable and necessary’ including music lessons, corporate box tickets, first-class airline travel and even sex workers,” she said.

“It was revealed a few years ago that more than 5000 people were on NDIS support packages costing more than $1 million each.”

Senator Hanson has called for NDIS support to be subject to means-testing like other government assistance, noting that millionaires who could easily afford full-time disability care themselves were eligible for the NDIS.

One of the main reasons for NDIS cost blow-outs – which, if not addressed, could cost taxpayers $100 billion a year by 2032 – has been pay rates for specialists like psychologists and registered nurses. These are capped at up to three times the rate such specialists are paid to work in other critical areas like aged care, public health and veteran care. It is creating a shortage of such specialists in these other sectors.

With contractor and equipment costs also sky-high, Senator Hanson has called for NDIS expenditure to be monitored with the use of NDIS cards issued for each support package.

“One Nation is a strong supporter of the NDIS but as with many government funding schemes, there are always people trying to take advantage and costs almost always blow out,” Senator Hanson said. “There is immense support in the community for a scheme which ensures the care of Australians living with disability, but if we don’t reign in the costs now it will become unaffordable and community support will disappear.

“Securing a sustainable NDIS over the long-term will be a major priority for One Nation next year.”