Premier Warns of NDIS Cost Blowout

The Federal Government has rebuked a warning by West Australian Premier Colin Barnett that there would be a cost blowout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Barnett told the The West Australian newspaper that a potential blowout of the NDIS was “way beyond what’s being talked about”.

“We know enough to know the final cost has blown out and that’s because of people using the service, the cost of delivery. We don’t know exactly but it’s not marginal,” Barnett said.

But a spokesperson for Federal Social Services Minister Christian Porter said there was “absolutely no budget blowout”.

“In fact, expert analysis based on the full range of data from trial sites shows the scheme is being delivered on time, on budget and with high levels of participant satisfaction,” the spokesperson said.

“It is estimated that around 460,000 people will be eligible for the NDIS at an estimated cost in 2019/20 of around $22 billion (rounded up). Of this, the states and territories will contribute around $10.4 billion for participant support costs and the Commonwealth will contribute around $11.3 billion for participant support costs and NDIA operational costs.The first 30 months of scheme experience indicates that overall costs of the scheme are in line with expectations.

“The NDIS is being rolled-out in a carefully managed, staged approach to ensure the best outcomes for people with a disability, their families and the community.”

The spokesperson said that there would be a delay in the rollout of the NDIS in WA, with every other state and territory seeing a rollout of the scheme from July this year.

WA will administer the delivery of its disability services while other states will have their NDIS run by the National Disability Insurance Agency.

Barnett also warned that the NDIS was at risk of being exploited by for-profit businesses.

“You will get full-profit organisations coming in, seeking a huge business opportunity and they may be very, very good but that’s not consistent with the way in which it’s developed,” he said.


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