Today the Productivity Commission (PC) released Disability Care and Support. This is a draft report and the PC is seeking submissions.
This draft report says that reform is necessary to address the shortcomings of the current system, which is “underfunded, unfair, fragmented and inefficient”. The PC contends that the proposed reforms will deliver long-term certainty, choice and flexibility to Australians with a disability, their families and carers.
One of the major recommendations of the draft report is that a National Disability Insurance Scheme be set up to cover any Australian who acquires a significant disability. Patricia Scott, the presiding commissioner for the inquiry at the PC, estimated that this scheme would require an additional $6.3 billion per annum in government funding. This would equate to a doubling of total government support.
The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, The Hon Jenny Macklin MP, encouraged people with an interest in this area to comment on the draft report. The Parliamentary Secretary for Disability, Senator The Hon Jan McLucas, emphasised the need for any changes to be sustainable in order to allow people with a disability and their carers to participate in their communities.
The draft report is available here. Interested parties are encouraged to provide feedback by submission or by attending one of its public hearings in April.
The final report is due to be delivered to the Government in July 2011.