Last night's Budget announcement confirmed what many had speculated: the NDIS will be fully funded through an increase in the Medicare levy.
The 2017 Budget announced the intention to plug the funding hole in the NDIS with a 0.5% increase in the Medicare levy from July 2019. This would increase the levy to 2.5%, raising $8.2 billion over the budget period.
Funding the NDIS through the Medicare levy is a shift away from some of the Liberal Government's earlier attempts to fund it through a range of controversial welfare cuts. Treasurer Scott Morrison said that this new approach reflected the belief that funding the NDIS the responsibility of all Australians. "Even if we are not impacted directly, this is all our responsibility," he said. "Our decision to increase the levy reflects the fact that all Australians have a role to play."
This is fantastic news that guarantees the future of the NDIS.
NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission
The 2017 Budget also announced $209 million over four years for a new NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, a national, independent regulatory body that will oversee delivery of services to all NDIS participants.
The Commission will commence operations on 1 January 2018 replacing the various quality
and safeguarding arrangements in each State and Territory as they reach full scheme,
to deliver a nationally consistent quality and safeguarding system for the first time
Local Care Workforce Package
A Local Care Workforce Package valued at $33 million was also introduced to develop workforce capacity for disability and aged care services.
To read about what Budget 2017 had to say about Disability Employment, read John Donnon's analysis: http://www.disabilityservicesconsulting.com.au/resources/budget-2017-des
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The NDIA have made a very important change in the functionality of the Participant Portal, writes Sally Coddington.
The NDIA have this morning made two important announcements: 1. A new participant pathway is being trialled and 2. The price limits for Short Term Accommodation (Respite) will be increased.
The Victorian Government has released an expression of interest to identify providers that it could transfer some DHHS run services to.
In the ILC Program Guidelines released last week, the NDIA confirmed that the upcoming funding round for ILC is not just about the ACT. In addition to Jurisdictional based grants, around $15 million in "National Readiness Grants" will be up for tender.