Finally someone is making economic sense about the NDIS (Economic Benefits of the NDIS – Report commissioned by NDS completed by the Centre for Applied Disability Research). It is refreshing to see a report that demonstrates an accurate picture of the revenue stream of the scheme.
Show me an NDIS Profit & Loss which includes projections of revenue from people with a disability getting jobs and paying taxes because by being a beneficiary of the NDIS they are getting the support they need to actively participate in employment. There must be an emphasis on the Medicare levy that has been collected since 2014 whilst the NDIS has been in the launch phase. Demonstrably, this component of the NDIS was the economic backdrop which verified the scheme was self–funded.
Call me a numbers tragic … ’nerdy’ accountant, but I’d like to see some robust financial commentary on the NDIS. The NDIS must be evaluated in a sound economic frame of reference, not falsely be portrayed as a charity that provides no fiscal return. Many of the commentators on the NDIS maintain a welfare mentality – in that the recipients of the NDIS are a burden, and their families and carers are martyrs. There continues to be commentary on the cost of the NDIS ignoring projections of the revenues raised through employment taxes and the GST. Also what is failed to be explained effectively is the current surplus status of the scheme, based on Medicare levy raised over the last 2 years, whilst the NDIS is still in its launch phase.
There is similarly the increase in families and carers who are working and paying PAYG taxes because their family member has the support they need, meaning they no longer have to provide it for free, and have time to earn an income.
Critically another line item in the NDIS P&L is the projected increase in the GST revenue as people have access to their community and can spend on goods and services. There should be some allocation for an increase in spending on housing, and jobs related to this industry as people invest in innovative housing models to facilitate independent living.
A quality, skilled and well remunerated workforce is paramount to the success of the NDIS. Any good P&L should account for projected expenses of this success, but in taking into account these expenses there should be an allocation for saving on the Disability Support pension and other forms of welfare such as the carer’s payment as people will be earning wages at a level that may make them ineligible for such benefits.
In addition to these components is the revenue item in the NDIS P&L which comprises taxes gained from an increase in the workforce to support the implementation of the NDIS; undoubtedly this calculation has not played a major role in presented evaluations.
People with disability are at the centre of the NDIS and for its success government, service providers, business and community are accountable to the taxpayer to build a world leading disability system. We all stand to benefit if this reform is implemented properly.
True analysis of this policy initiative should include all elements including the opportunity cost of not investing in the NDIS. The Productivity Commission report into Disability Care and support delivered to Assistant Treasurer on the 31 July 2011, confirmed; that disability support in Australia is “underfunded, unfair, fragmented and inefficient”. Project that forward 20 years – what is the cost of not funding Disability efficiently?
And we have a world class NDIS we can sell it to other countries – factor that into your projections Scott!!