Thursday 3 June, 2021
A report titled Plan Flexibility and Budget Planning, released today and intended to dispel concerns, confirms many of the community's worst fears about the Morrison government's proposed changes to the NDIS.
Australian Greens Disability Rights and Services spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John said that, contrary to the stated aims of the proposed changes, disabled people would have significantly less choice and control under the new funding model.
"This report is just pages and pages and pages of disrespectful, paternalistic and deceitful spin," Steele-John said.
"The Morrison government and the NDIA leadership have the audacity to promote these changes as being about giving us "...more choice and control over our lives ... with the plans and budgets to pursue our goals" when these fundamental principles that underpin our NDIS are actually being undermined and stripped away.
"The NDIS is supposed to be about, more than anything else, enabling disabled people to have individualised plans that meet our own individual needs and help us to achieve our own individual goals.
"But, under this proposal participants will be matched to one of 400 different 'personas' that will determine a set amount of funding - a feature of the old pre-NDIS support system that disabled people campaigned so hard to abolish!
"We, as a community, fought so hard to get out of this box and have our rights recognised; we will not be going back in it.
"The report also appears to suggest that goal-setting will be decoupled from funding and fails to mention the different ways in which people currently manage their plans, further watering down the core values of our NDIS.
"Putting us in boxes like this, based primarily off of a single independent assessment with a complete stranger, completely dismantles the core principle and values of our NDIS that made it such a revolutionary and world-first reform.
"Finally, the report notes that prior to finaling the new model and introducing the legislation to Parliament in will be subject to reviews however it does not mention that we, as disabled people and NDIS participants, will be a part of that review. Where is the co-design?
"There is a saying in the disability community: 'nothing about us, without us'. If the Morrison government is not willing to engage us in a process of co-design then we will not accept these changes to our NDIS."