The Treasurer’s budget announcement confirmed the Government’s commitment to the NDIS and should ensure the scheme is fully funded going forward. To do this, the Government is seeking to increase the Medicare levy by 0.5% from the current 2% in July 2019. While this will have an obvious impact on all wage earners, funding the NDIS through the Medicare levy is a fairer method of raising the required money than the proposed cuts put forward by Joe Hockey through welfare cuts in his “Lifters and Leaners” budget.
Scott Morrison said that this new approach reflected the belief that funding the NDIS the responsibility of all Australians. “Even if we are not impacted directly, this is all our responsibility,” he said. “Our decision to increase the levy reflects the fact that all Australians have a role to play.”
Social Services Minister Christian Porter said, “The increase, will cost a worker on average earnings $400 a year and will fill the $3.8 billion a year funding hole.”
The government also announced it would spend $209 million to establish an independent NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. The Commission will oversee the quality of providers and enforce the rights of participants. The Commission will require support providers to respond to complaints about incidents such as abuse or neglect. A national Code of Conduct will be developed outlining guidelines and expectations for those delivering care under the program.