The NDIS will cost us more than we’re being told | Article | The Punch

Andrew Baker, a Policy Analyst at The Centre for Independent Studies, and author of the upcoming publication The New Leviathan: A National Disability Insurance Scheme, has a good piece in today's Punch on how the NDIS will cost taxpayers a lot more than we are being told:
It’s official, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will cost taxpayers around $22 billion a year (gross) in its first full year of operation, a marked increase on the $15 billion figure that is being widely used in the public debate...

The revised figure of $22 billion comes from a report by the Australian Government Actuary (AGA) released under a Freedom of Information request by The Centre for Independent Studies.

This means that the $15 billion figure being used by politicians and commentators in the public debate massively understates the cost of the NDIS when it would be fully operational.

Andrew Baker concludes that, taking the worthiness of the NDIS as a given, it ought be funded by cuts to existing expenditure, rather than tax hikes:
The worthiness of the NDIS puts all government expenditure into perspective. Given the copious amounts of middle-class welfare and the prospect of Tony Abbott’s overly generous paid parental leave scheme – the NDIS presents an opportunity to re-evaluate current and future government expenditure in a moral light: Do they pass an “NDIS test”?

Every government-funded grant, subsidy, project, program or junket should be judged against the need of a person with disability who needs a wheelchair, someone who needs help to get out of bed and to have a shower, a person who needs a guide dog, or a child who needs speech therapy – the sorts of supports the NDIS will fund.

Read the whole piece here.

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