April 05, 2016

WA Premier Colin Barnett has decided to join in the Liberals’ favourite sport of NDIS-bashing, with his baseless claims about a blowout in the cost of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Mr Barnett has told the West Australian:


“We know enough to know the final cost has blown out…we don’t know exactly but it’s not marginal.”


But Mr Barnett doesn’t seem to know anything at all.  


There is absolutely no evidence of a cost overrun. In fact, the opposite is true.


The National Disability Insurance Agency’s latest quarterly report confirms the NDIS is being delivered on time, on budget, and with high participant satisfaction.


Even Barnett’s old mate Christian Porter has had to admit through gritted teeth that Labor’s NDIS is on budget.


And the Federal Government’s own officials have comprehensively busted the myth of a cost blowout.


“Frankly Senator there have been many, many inaccurate news reports about cost blowouts in the NDIS, and they are all inaccurate…I can say on the record that the NDIS is tracking to budget.”

[Government official, Senate Estimates, 11 February 2016]


Whether it’s Scott Morrison in Canberra or Colin Barnett in Perth, all that people with disability hear from the Liberals are lies about the NDIS and uncertainty over its future.


Mr Barnett and his counterparts in Canberra need to stop spreading lies about the NDIS and focus on the future of disability reform in Western Australia, which is still uncertain.


Both Coalition governments must commit to publically releasing the evaluation of the NDIS and MyWay trials when they are completed in August, so that people with disability and their advocates in WA can be involved in decisions about the way forward.


This is a decision that can’t be made behind closed doors by Liberal politicians.


People with disability, their families and carers have waited their whole lives for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.


They deserve better than to be constantly misled about the funding of the NDIS.