Budget 2017: a missed NDIS funding opportunity

Let’s not gloss over the missed opportunity to boost the funding of the NDIS.

In Tuesday’s Budget, Treasurer Scott Morrison announced that funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) would be secured from 1 July 2019, but how does he plan on doing so? An increase to the Medicare Levy, that’s how.

From 1 July 2019, taxpayers who are subject to the Medicare Levy will pay 0.5 per cent more, with the Levy increasing to 2.5 per cent. For someone earning $80,000, this is an extra $400 per year in tax and those on $150,000 will pay $750 per year more.

For some this may increase their cost of living pressures, however, surely supporting those who are disadvantaged by and struggling with, a disability is something we can find it in our hearts, and wallets, to do?

And while this is good news, let us not gloss over the missed opportunity to boost the funding of the NDIS over the next two years. For the last two years, high-income earners have been paying an extra two per cent in income tax on earnings over $180,000 as a Temporary Budget Repair Levy. This measure ceases on 1 July this year, but with few people making any great fuss about paying such a levy, surely it would have made a hell of a lot of sense to continue it for at least the next two years?

This may have allowed the Government to exclude many low-income earners from the increased Medicare Levy, or indeed, stockpiled some additional funding for improving the services to be offered under the NDIS.

I have heard that, on his Prime Minister’s salary, Malcolm Turnbull will be $6500 better off once the Budget Repair Levy ends. Surely he and others who benefit to this tune can afford to forgo the extra cash?

What do you think? Should the Budget Repair Levy have been continued? Would it be preferable to exclude low-income earners from the increased Medicare Levy?

RELATED ARTICLES





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    Ted Wards
    11th May 2017
    12:43pm
    Its good for those who will indeed come under the NDIS, but once again the tax payers are expected to forgo more of their income. Where will it end?
    Slimmer Cat
    11th May 2017
    2:30pm
    The writer wants the NDIS paid for by the 20% of wage earners who already pay for 84% of all personal income taxes collected in Australia.
    These workers have paid 2% on the temporary deficit levy and at the same time are paying 2% for the Medicare Levy now and in two years will pay another 0.5% in the Medicare levy. Give them a break for once.
    Ted Wards
    11th May 2017
    3:07pm
    Well said Slimmer. I dont know about you but I am fed up with the government garnishing my wages for whatever purpose they feel like. Enough is enough
    Slimmer Cat
    11th May 2017
    3:17pm
    You're so right TW never had any handouts in our lives. Planned and saved for retirement for 40 years so as not to be a burden on the country and still get slugged more. Had two children as we could afford to raise and educate two. Bought a house and paid it off in an area we could afford to live in not where we would have liked to live in the inner suburbs of Sydney.
    Rae
    11th May 2017
    4:55pm
    Same Slimmer Cat and I was widowed at 32 with three little ones and worked two jobs for decades to raise them and save for my retirement in a house we'd built in the then far reaches of the Regions. If I thought for one moment that this money would actually help the disabled I'd be glad to contribute but I honestly believe it will just feather the nest of the collectors, administrators, legal teams, financial people and the private supplier corporations and various lobby groups etc, etc.

    I'd have to have a lot of actually recipients testify that it was working for them and see actual figures on money in and out before I'll believe any of this is more than a scam to rob the middle and lower classes and feed the trough of the unquenchable greedy.

    Bit like the Green Slip Insurance Scam. They are even telling us now, in writing, that it costs so much due to fraud that they obviously can't deal with.
    Old Geezer
    11th May 2017
    6:17pm
    Just to give you an example of what happens in the NDIS. A wheelchair costs US$600 in the US by the time it get to the person needing it under the NDIS it costs over $16,000 AUD. So where does all that money go?
    Rae
    12th May 2017
    7:01am
    Why can't the wheelchair be bought online for the $600 OG. Is there some reason a person needing a wheelchair couldn't order direct and have it shipped?
    Slimmer Cat
    12th May 2017
    7:54am
    Rae, there is no reason why anybody needing a wheelchair cannot buy it on line for $600 BUT then they would be paying for it, instead they put out their welfare hand and the government pays $16000 for their wheelchair. People on welfare do not want to take care of themselves financially in any way or form.
    KSS
    11th May 2017
    12:46pm
    So the writer wants the NDIS but typically wants someone else to pay for it!

    Just can't stop yourself from having a dig at Mr Turnbull with absolutely NO admonishment of Ms Gillard who introduced this scheme totally unfunded from the beginning.
    Anonymous
    11th May 2017
    1:48pm
    Agree with your comments KSS, a question of whose hearts and whose wallets. Be thankful that the NDIS exists at all.
    Ted Wards
    11th May 2017
    3:09pm
    Hate to tell you trood the NDIS is not going to be enough for the amount of people who want it let alone for those who actually need it. From the beginning they were only ever going to have enough for a quarter of those who need it.
    Funny face
    11th May 2017
    1:04pm
    My daughter has M.S and there is no help. The multiple Sclerosis Society went bankrupt! Even when this comes in ( in S.A a couple of yearsyet) she still probably won't " qualify" because of her age! She's had it ( abd I wouldn't wish ut on my worst enemy!) since she was 19 years old - she's now 46. She's too " old" for some things and " too young" for others. It's very frustrating!
    Funny face
    11th May 2017
    1:04pm
    My daughter has M.S and there is no help. The multiple Sclerosis Society went bankrupt! Even when this comes in ( in S.A a couple of yearsyet) she still probably won't " qualify" because of her age! She's had it ( abd I wouldn't wish ut on my worst enemy!) since she was 19 years old - she's now 46. She's too " old" for some things and " too young" for others. It's very frustrating!
    KB
    11th May 2017
    2:35pm
    I empathize with your issues with your daughter.Accessing help of any kind is hard.The NDIS will not help every body who has a disability of some kind particularly adults in the middle age group,
    Teddy
    11th May 2017
    1:09pm
    So It is now a requirement to whinge and whine rather than simply 'carry on' or you can expect to get permanently saddled with extra levies. Obviously the banks are 'awake up' to this which is why customers and employees will be paying the impost on their incomes.
    Rae
    11th May 2017
    2:19pm
    The NDIS is fast turning into the same fiasco of money making for private companies that unemployment and childcare has become. A government sponsored(taxpayer) ability to take money for yourself. I doubt many of those needing help will get it.

    A bit like the State Green slip insurance that now costs all drivers over $400 a year to insure other people, and is being ripped off by fraudsters and international reinsurers.
    The excuse that fraud is out of control and pushing up premiums is ridiculous.

    Perhaps an investigation into just why a nation of 24 million people has so much disability would be a good idea. How much is genuine and how much fraudulent. Surely our universal medicare and private health should have been enough without another tax for yet another public liability.
    KB
    11th May 2017
    2:31pm
    Low income earners should be excluded ad there are many who have a disability and not often able to access help I am in my fifties and need extra help. Too old or the services do not fit my requirements. Very frustrating
    Ted Wards
    11th May 2017
    3:10pm
    They are its only for people who earn over a certain amount KB.
    Fready
    11th May 2017
    3:34pm
    The NDIS was a "noble" idea for the Labor Party that introduced it (without funding) as a "poison pill" for the Coalition. The cost is going up and the numbers qualifying for support exceed estimates. It will send the country broke unless the qualifying parameters are changed or taxes are raised again. We simply can't afford it in its current form.
    On this site the simple solution is tax the high income earners who are already paying the bulk of income tax collected (the top 3% pay 30% of all tax collected). Do we really want to kill off the ambition to get ahead.?
    Ted Wards
    11th May 2017
    3:40pm
    Queensland had a great system that didnt need to be changed!
    Old Geezer
    11th May 2017
    6:19pm
    We simply can't afford packages of over $110,000 per year for every disabled person. That's more than most people earn a year.
    Fready
    11th May 2017
    6:33pm
    I've just received a message from Mathias Cormann that contains the following " Will Labor commit to the future of the NDIS after leaving a $55.7 billion funding black hole?"
    There is the size of the problem.!! $55.7 Billion.!! We can't afford it, but what politician will be game to even scale it back a little.
    Kathleen
    11th May 2017
    8:55pm
    I also just listened to Labor's response which I thought was very good. They propose not applying th Medicare levy to people on less than $87000. They also agreed that the budget repair tax should be continued. Millionaires have been allowed to write off one million to have their tax affairs managed and many pay no tax who earn around two and half million.
    When people have not been getting rises for some time families are struggling.
    Labor proposes to protect the workers and close the loopholes that allow so many companies and individuals to avoid paying taxes. It is not only the multinationals who pay no tax many Australian companies also manage to rort the system.
    The NDIS needs more funding than the government proposes as many are still missing out,
    The government whoever they may be must start to recoup the money from the avoiders, fund education properly and protect Medicare as well as NDIS.
    sirrom
    12th May 2017
    10:40am
    Funny isn't it how lLabor state they fully funded NDIS and yet Shorten in his budget reply has stated how they would fund the shortfall! - What shortfall Mr monotone Shorten- oh yes the shortfall that Labor didn't. - What hypocricy- Typical of Labor - can't see anything good oin anything and b.s. about themselves.
    Rodent
    13th May 2017
    3:40pm
    When talking about the NDIS one gets the impression that all the funding going forward is from the Commonwealth, that is not correct. The state and territories contribute to the total figures that appear in the Budget 2017/18 Refer this note. I think the break up is about 60% fed govt and 40% state/Territories- BUT still checking through the fine details

    The most significant driver of this growth is the assistance to people with disabilities sub-function, which is expected to grow by 19.1 per cent in real terms from 2016-17 to 2017-18, and by 23.0 per cent in real terms from 2017-18 to 2020-21, reflecting the progressive implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This sub-function includes Commonwealth as well as State and Territory contributions to the NDIS.
    Rodent
    13th May 2017
    3:50pm
    NDIS part 2

    The Budget papers show that for 2016/17 Budget for Assistance to people with Disabilities is $31.7Bill rising to $50.71 Bill in 2020/21. This figure INCLUDES the normal payments of the Disability Support Pension.

    PLUS this Explanation from Budget paper no 1 Statement 6


    Expenses for the assistance to people with disabilities sub-function are expected to increase by 19.1 per cent in real terms from 2016-17 to 2017-18, and by 23.0 per cent in real terms from 2017-18 to 2020-21, primarily driven by the NDIS. This reflects the increase in the number of people with a disability entering the NDIS under transition arrangements with the States and Territories. Of the total $64.9 billion in NDIS expenses from 2017-18 to 2020-21, the Commonwealth is contributing funding of $33.7 billion, with the States and Territories contributing the remaining funding. Estimates of NDIS expenses in Western Australia only reflect the Commonwealth contribution from 2017 18 to 2019-20 through a state-run NDIS model. NDIS expenses in 2020 21 for Western Australia are not reflected in the sub-function table as full Scheme arrangements in this state are subject to ongoing negotiations
    Rodent
    13th May 2017
    4:00pm
    NDIS Part 3 lst for today

    What is interesting is that the $ for DSP grows from 2016/17 at $16.4Bill to $19.14Bill in 2020/21, even allowing for all the CPI increases that seems wrong because the DSP people numbers are continuing to decline each quarter since Dec 2014.

    This looks a lot like the same mistake the made in last years budget?


    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles