Media Release by The Hon Christian Porter MP

Real money for a real commitment to the NDIS

The Turnbull Government will ensure the Commonwealth is able to meet future NDIS costs through the deposit of $2.1 billion of Budget savings into the NDIS Savings Fund Special Account once it is established.

Savings in the NDIS Savings Fund will be quarantined, locking them in as protected forward contributions to the NDIS.

This will help make up Labor’s $4.4 billion shortfall in NDIS funding in 2019 20, which increases to over $5 billion per annum in the following years.

The Government is committed to delivering and fully funding the NDIS. We have now agreed to the full roll-out of the scheme with seven states and territories, and to commence transition in WA from 1 July 2017 once the agreement is finalised.

At full scheme in 2019-20, the NDIS will transform the lives of around 460,000 Australians who are living with disability.

Savings measures committed to the Savings Fund include:

  • Closing carbon tax compensation for new welfare recipients from 20 September 2016 at a saving of $1.3 billion over five years;
  • Closing carbon tax compensation for those single income families not already in the welfare system but who will enter the welfare system from 1 July 2017, with a saving of $67.2 million over five years, and;
  • Additional reviews for Disability Support Pension recipients, with a saving of $62.1 million over five years.

Savings of $711.2 million over five years that were achieved through finalising transitional arrangements with states and territories, will also be set aside in the Savings Fund for re-investment in the NDIS.

The carbon tax compensation measures were introduced to make up for the expected cost on individuals and to mitigate what would otherwise have been long-term electricity price increases under Labor’s carbon tax which has since been abolished. The compensation for long-term electricity price increases is no longer necessary for new entrants to the welfare system.

Redirecting compensation for a carbon tax that has been abolished represents a fair way to help fund the NDIS.

Both carbon tax compensation measures will be grandfathered. Existing recipients will continue to receive the payments, for as long as they remain continuously eligible for an underlying payment or card that attracts the compensation.

Families on low to middle incomes will continue to be eligible for Family Tax Benefit to help with the cost of raising children.

The Turnbull Government is committed to providing a strong safety net for Australia’s most vulnerable. We will fund our ongoing commitment to ensure those who need assistance receive it, while ensuring the sustainability of important programs like the NDIS. Protecting the integrity of the welfare system will also help ensure a sustainable welfare system and make sure those who are able to work are supported and encouraged to do so.

Over the next three years up to 90,000 current Disability Support Pension (DSP) recipients will have their DSP eligibility reviewed to assess their capacity to work.

This will include up to 30,000 Disability Medical Assessments for current DSP recipients considered to be a high risk of not being eligible for a payment.

DSP reviews extend an existing policy which aims to identify people who have some capacity to support themselves through paid work, enabling them to be connected with the labour force and participate in appropriate supports to help them prepare for work and find suitable employment.

People reviewed will undergo a full Job Capacity Assessment and, where appropriate, a disability medical assessment by a Government Contracted Doctor.

Savings from this measure will also be redirected into the NDIS.