It tells you all you need to know that after five years of neglecting the NDIS, the Government has made an emergency announcement on prices, just weeks out from an election.
This is an overdue acknowledgement of the pressure the Government put on services.
It is also a huge admission of the extent to which this Government has botched the roll-out of the NDIS, failed to listen and pushed many providers to the brink of closure.
Last year, the Government paid $5 million to consultants for a report on NDIS prices. The report did not recommend the price increases announced today, despite clear evidence that change was needed.
The Government spent big on useless advice, instead of talking to the sector and those who understand what quality services cost.
In the process, the Government put the NDIS in jeopardy by pushing providers to the edge, compromising quality and risking big services closing.
Today’s knee-jerk reaction confirms the Government was wrong all along.
It should never have got to this. The Government has lost control of the NDIS and does not have a fair and reasonable process for setting prices.
A sustainable NDIS means sustainable pricing.
Otherwise people with disability will be left stranded without services, and the NDIA will continue to make erratic decisions on price.
This comes as Scott Morrison gets set to use the NDIS underspend to prop up his Budget.
So far, over $6 billion set aside for the NDIS has not been spent.
This is a disgrace, not an achievement.
It is a direct result of the Liberals and Nationals falling behind on the NDIS rollout – with the equivalent of 77,000 Australians missing out on the NDIS.
And billions of dollars of much-needed support in people’s NDIS plans is going unused because services are simply not available.
It’s cynical politics for the Government to only begin to paying attention to the crisis in the NDIS weeks out from an election.
The Government should have been delivering the NDIS properly all along, not using it to prop up their budget.