NDIS price rise a slap in the face

House with No Steps Managing Director, Andrew Richardson, says NDIS price rise a ‘slap in the face’ for people with a disability.

January 22, 2016

Today’s announcement by the NDIA of increased NDIS prices for ‘assistance in self-care’ and ‘community support’ sounds like good news, but is in reality a major slap in the face for people with a disability.

We are deeply disappointed that – by setting prices well below sustainable levels – the NDIA Board has chosen a path of short term expediency that takes choice and control away from people with a disability and their families, and substantially reduces the likelihood of the NDIS being successfully implemented.

The NDIA has gone against the recommendation of the joint NDIA / NDS working group on pricing. It has locked in prices that drive a “lowest common denominator” approach to supporting people with a disability. It has also backflipped over its CEO’s commitment to deregulate NDIS pricing from July 2014, leaving NGO service providers with few real options.

The upshot over time will be a lowest common denominator approach to supporting people with a disability; the withdrawal or financial failure of NGO service providers; the casualisation and de-skilling of the disability support workforce; and a fundamental lack of choice and control for people with a disability and their families.

Whether deliberately or inadvertently, the NDIA Board is creating a one-size-fits-all disability support “market”, where the focus is on the cheapest possible inputs – whatever their quality – and not on outcomes for people with a disability.

Let’s get the focus back on the rights of people with a disability and not on misguided short term cost minimisation.”