NDIS comments disappointing: Endeavour Foundation CEO

1 May 2013

lll-informed NDIS comments are disappointing

Following the announcement of an increased Medicare levy to fund the NDIS, Endeavour Foundation CEO David Barbagallo is particularly disappointed by what he describes as "the ill-informed commentary of business groups which clearly haven’t taken the time to be fully briefed on what the scheme will mean".

"People seem to have forgotten the Productivity Commission said it would cost Australia far more if we simply sat on our hands and did nothing. The cost would be borne in the health system, the criminal justice system and the education system," Mr Barbagallo said.

"Doing nothing simply isn’t a choice, and it’s not just about finding enough funding," he said.

"The Productivity Commission tells us Australia’s disability support system is fundamentally broken. That was acknowledged when 96 people spoke in support of the NDIS bill in federal parliament just four weeks ago.

"People should not forget this reform isn’t just for a few. The NDIS can potentially benefit anyone - just like Medicare - because anyone can acquire a disability, at any time.

"The Productivity Commission report showed an NDIS will have enormous social returns for communities and for people with a disability, who are currently shunted to the bottom of the pile.

"Both the Productivity Commission and independent economic modelling show there would be tremendous economic benefits from an NDIS.

"In many respects this is a unique social policy in relation to the extent of its positive impact on employment and the GDP.

"Deloitte Access Economics1 found that if 64% of people with a disability were employed, Australia would see a $43 billion boost to GDP in the coming decade.

"That is a $12 billion increase in our 2011 GDP – which is almost the full cost of introducing the NDIS," Mr Barbagallo concluded.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kirrily Boulton, phone 0429 077 886.

1. Deloitte Access Economics. P22 The economic benefits of increasing employment for people with disability August 2011. Commissioned by the Australian Network on Disability.