Vision 2020 Australia welcomes the Government’s commitment to provide the necessary funding to support the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). With an investment of $43.2 billion over four years, the Government has committed to delivering the NDIS with the Treasurer Scott Morrison promising Australians that, “every cent committed to delivering the NDIS remains in place and always will.”
Certainty of sustainable funding is essential for people with disability and their families to ensure long-term stability and security. The funding commitment by the Government demonstrates the importance of the NDIS and the need for a bi-partisan pledge to guarantee the NDIS is supported in all future budgets.
Dr Jessica Gallagher, Vision 2020 Australia Board Director and Paralympian said, “I welcome the commitment by the Government to fully fund the NDIS now and in future budgets. This will provide certainty for people with a disability and allow them to enjoy equitable and independent lives through the guarantee of appropriate supports.”
Blind Citizens Australia CEO Emma Bennison also welcomed the funding commitment for the NDIS but highlighted the need to appropriately support Australian’s over the age of 65, stating “While we welcome the government's commitment to fully fund the NDIS, we hold grave concerns for the many people who are blind or vision impaired who are excluded from the scheme due to not meeting the age eligibility requirements”.
“Age-related vision loss is the leading cause of blindness in Australia and around 70% of Australians who are blind or vision impaired are over the age of 65. These people deserve to have access to the same services and supports that are available to their younger peers under the NDIS.”
Complementary to the funding for the NDIS, the Government has announced an additional $64.3 million over four years, to establish the NDIS Jobs and Market Fund. The fund will develop resources to provide capacity-building initiatives for the NDIS workforce. Vision 2020 Australia is eager to work with Government and service providers to ensure people who are blind or have low vision have access to quality planning and assessment to ensure the inclusion of specialist supports and services through the NDIS.
A further $92.1 million over five years has been provided to enable continuity of support for people receiving existing support for items not provided by the NDIS. This funding will ensure that people who are transitioning into the NDIS are not disadvantaged by the process and will still have access to the same level of support they previously received.
The commitment to fund and develop the capacity of the NDIS is embraced by Vision 2020 Australia and our members, but more work needs to be done. The NDIS needs to continue to expand its capacity to provide quality planning and supports for people who are blind or have low vision, supported by a long-term, bi-partisan commitment to funding the scheme to provide certainty for all Australians with a disability.
For more information: Policy and Advocacy Team, Vision 2020 Australia