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Petrusma Needs to Come Clean on NDIS, Commit to Advocacy Funding

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 4 April 2019

Tags: National Disability Insurance Scheme, Disability, Federal Budget

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Disability Services spokesperson

Tasmanians living with a disability are missing out on key services and supports as a result of a shocking underspend on the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

This week’s Federal Budget papers reveal the Tasmanian Government is complicit, with $2 billion of a $6.4 billion underspend this year and next, the responsibility of States.

Minister for Disability Services, Jacquie Petrusma, must tell Tasmanians living with a disability, their families and carers what Tasmania’s contribution to this shocking shortfall is. 

Around 10 600 people living with a disability are eligible for support under the NDIS. 

How many people are missing out on reasonable and necessary supports to enhance the quality of their life?

Why are people in desperate need of support and equipment waiting months and months, or being told there is nothing available for them under the NDIS?

How can any government justify underspending on essential, life changing disability supports for Tasmanians who need them? 

The Coalition Government in Canberra is crowing about a ‘surplus’ built in significant part of the back of holding back money for the NDIS.

It’s immoral at every level.

Minister Petrusma needs to explain to Tasmanians living with a disability why their hardship is underpinning an alleged budget surplus and what she will be doing to ensure the State meets its responsibility to people in urgent need.

It’s not just people who need support who are suffering the NDIS failings under Liberal Governments. 

Almost a third of the State’s disability service providers operated at a loss last year. 

While providers are going broke, vital advocacy services will lose their funding in June this year.

At a minimum, the State Government must commit to funding disability advocacy services in the upcoming State Budget to ensure people living with a disability don’t lose their strongest voice as they struggle to access the services they need.