NEDA is buoyed by news of the Federal Government’s continued commitment to fully fund the NDIS, this commitment will help erase recent fears that have been sweeping through the disability community due to the continued conversation around scheme sustainability.
This announcement while welcomed, needs to be elaborated on, with details as to how this will happen and what cuts the government are looking to implement to achieve this.
NEDA is concerned that there was little mention concerning the 3.5 million people with disability in Australia who aren’t NDIS participants, regarding the supports and services available to them, particularly advocacy within the states and territories.
“The NDIS currently only caters to 500 thousand people living with disability, people living with disability are more than 500 thousand” stated the NEDA President Margherita Coppolino.
“We are concerned that there is little or no detail regarding the intersectional nature of disability, culture, language, place of birth or gender; as well as the supports of our indigenous brothers and sisters.”
People on the disability support pension on average live below the poverty line, with housing and transport beyond the reach of most; even more so with the rise in the cost of living and growing inflation. NEDA would like to see a greater commitment to the general disability community, not just NDIS participants.
NEDA was also concerned regarding reports of cuts to funding of the Australian Human Rights Commission, especially regarding the National Anti-Racism Framework that NEDA has been working on as part of a larger collaboration. This slashing of funds and resources is not consistent, given the budget announcement of the intake of an additional 16,500 humanitarian places for Afghan nationals over four years, increasing the size of the Refugee and Humanitarian Program to 17,875 places each year until 2025-26.
The Government will allocate $1.28 billion in 2022-23 to onshore detention and compliance, an increase of $20.6 million on spending in 2021-22. It has budgeted more than $1 billion on detention and compliance for each of the four years of the forward estimates. NEDA has grave concerns for those people in offshore detention who live with disability as history has shown that these facilities are not equipped to support and help those people.
Labor in its budget response stated that they would protect the NDIS from the proposed cuts by the Liberal-Nationals but did not elaborate further on how this would be done. This response, like the government’s budget, was light on detail as to how the millions of other Australians living with disability will be supported.
We are expecting that the opposition give the disability community details as to how they will support PwDs, and their tactics to make the system equitable for all Australians living with disability, while giving consideration to those people within intersectional communities.
NEDA requests that the opposition reach out to the disability community via the peak bodies who represent the intersections of the disability community.
Zain Waseem | Mobile: 0491 204 295 | Email: Zain@neda.org.au