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Endeavour Foundation CEO David Barbagallo has spoken out in support of the federal government’s ongoing commitment to the NDIS following reports that former Australian Stock Exchange chairman Maurice Newman described the scheme as “reckless”.
“I have total confidence that Prime Minister Abbott is a man of his word and will not resile from his commitment to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, despite Mr Newman’s ill-considered remarks,” Mr Barbagallo said.
“Sadly Mr Newman has called his own economic credentials into question by challenging the fiscal value of the NDIS. He needs to either get his calculator out or read the analysis of credible economists such as the Productivity Commission and PricewaterhouseCoopers,” he said.
“Cost-benefit analysis shows the NDIS would benefit the Australian economy by $9.6 billion, paying for itself through increased tax revenue, reduced pension costs and higher consumption3.
“Better support through the NDIS would significantly cut costs to society by reducing family breakdown and stopping people with a disability from being caught up in our courts, jails, hospitals, emergency services and crisis systems1.
“With NDIS support, 26.8% of unemployed Australians with a disability (almost 200,000 people) could work, helping solve the problem of our growing population and shrinking workforce3.
“Without the NDIS Australians with a disability are the poorest in 27 OECD* nations – 45% live in or are close to poverty2. Just 31% of people with a disability participate in the workforce, compared with 83% of people without a disability. Shamefully, Australia is ranked 21 out of 29 OECD* nations in terms of employment opportunities for people with a disability2.
“Unlike Mr Newman, the Commonwealth Government is well aware of the financial reasons that we need an NDIS. I have no doubt that they will continue to push towards an efficient and well-run scheme that puts choice and control into the hands of people with a disability,” Mr Barbagallo concluded.
Kirrily Boulton, Media and Communications Officer
Phone: 0429 077 886
Mr Barbagallo is available for interviews.
References 1. Productivity Commission Report (2011) Disability Care and Support, Report p54, Canberra.
2. PricewaterhouseCoopers (2011) Disability Expectations: Investing in a better life, a stronger Australia. 3. National Disability Services (2011) The Economic Benefits of Disability Employment. *Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.