24 February, 2024
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Government to map out disability insurance reforms


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People involved in National Disability Insurance Scheme have been promised a better experience and broader support.

The federal government will on Thursday release the report of an independent review of the scheme by one of the architects, Professor Bruce Bonyhady, and former senior public servant Lisa Paul.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese struck an initial deal with state and territory leaders at a national cabinet meeting on Wednesday to respond to the review.

Mr Albanese said the NDIS, which is putting pressure on government budgets as demand and costs rise, needed reform to ensure it could continue to provide “life-changing support” to people with a disability.

The prime minister and premiers agreed to work on new laws which he said would “improve the experience of participants and restore the original intent of the scheme, to support people with permanent and significant disability, with a broader ecosystem of support”.

 Anthony Albanese says the NDIS needs reform to so it can provide support to people with a disability Image by Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS 

As well, state and territory NDIS contribution escalation rates would be adjusted, increasing from four per cent to be in line with actual scheme growth, capped at eight per cent.

The Commonwealth would pay the remainder of the scheme costs growth from July 2028.

New “foundational supports”, delivered through childcare centres and schools, would be designed to help children with such conditions as early developmental issues.

The cost of these new supports would be shared 50-50 between the commonwealth and states.

 Reforms will be outlined in speech by NDIS Minister Bill Shorten in Canberra on Thursday. Image by Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS 

Further reforms will be outlined in a speech by NDIS Minister Bill Shorten to the National Press Club on Thursday.

Mr Shorten is expected to explain how the government intends to reduce costs, through structural and other changes, without undermining support.

The cost of the NDIS, which supports about 631,000 Australians, is surging at an unsustainable 14 per cent a year.

But the federal government wants to contain its growth to eight per cent, lest it start eroding other parts of the federal budget.

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