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National Disability Insurance Scheme - Funding

10 April 2019

 

Ms O'CONNOR question to MINISTER FOR DISABILITY SERVICES and COMMUNITY 
DEVELOPMENT, Mrs PETRUSMA

Last week's federal budget papers revealed the surplus your federal 
Liberal colleagues are crowing about relies heavily on a $6.4 billion 
underspend on the National Disability Insurance Scheme over this year and 
next; $2 billion of that shocking immoral underspend is the responsibility 
of the states. How much is your responsibility? Could you please explain 
to the House and, more importantly, Tasmanians with disability, their 
families and carers, why this state is contributing towards a serious 
damaging underspend on the NDIS?

 

ANSWER 

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question. The National 
Disability Insurance Scheme is one of the most important reforms that 
Australia has ever seen. I can assure all members that this Hodgman 
Liberal Government is meeting its responsibility to people living with 
disability who are eligible for the NDIS. As we have said on numerous 
occasions, we are 100 per cent committed to fully funding the NDIS because 
under a Liberal Hodgman Government the NDIS will always be fully funded 
because of our strong economy and strong budget management. The budget is 
back on track in Tasmania because of this Government's strong, responsible 
financial management.

Members interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order, please.

Mrs PETRUSMA - It does not rely on any changes to the state Government's 
contribution to the NDIS because we are committed to fully funding the 
NDIS -

Members interjecting.

Madam SPEAKER - Order, please.

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker. The only mechanism I have is 
standing order 45 - relevance. What we need from the minister is an 
explanation of how much the state has contributed to the underspend and if 
it is nothing, then tell the House?

Madam SPEAKER - That is not a point of order but it was good to clarify 
that.

Mrs PETRUSMA - Madam Speaker, there has been no change to the Heads of 
Agreement signed by the previous Labor-Greens government that the member 
has conveniently forgotten about seeing, as she was in government and the 
minister at the time. Under the Heads of Agreement that you signed the 
states and territories agreed to make a capped, fixed contribution to the 
NDIS based on population share. It is only the Commonwealth's 
contribution that fluctuates, with the Commonwealth paying the full 
balance of the NDIS costs. 

As shown in the 2018-19 Budget, Tasmania has fully budgeted for its future 
NDIS funding requirements. From 2019-20 there is a fixed upfront funding 
contribution under the full scheme arrangements, which for 2019-20 is $
233.3 million, which again is fully funded which gets even escalated at a 
fixed rate of 4 per cent per annum until 2027-28. I repeat, our 
contribution is fixed. It is only the Commonwealth's contribution that 
fluctuates. 

If the member cares to listen, we are spending more money on people with 
disability than ever before with a massive $982 million in 2018-19 Budget 
and forward Estimates, including the $878.7 million in cash and in-kind 
supports. We are delivering on our commitments to the NDIS. I repeat, 
this Government is fully committed to our contributions to the NDIS 
because it is one of the most important schemes. It is one of the most 
important once in a lifetime generation significant things that people 
with disability can look forward to under this Government because we are 
100 per cent committed to fully fund it.