New levy expected to fund NDIS: supporters | Port Macquarie News

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Health advocates have called for the introduction of a Medicare-style levy to guarantee funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Disability Support Service founder Michael Metcalfe said the hundreds of thousands of program participants needed continued funding. “Rather than risk new future pressures on NDIS costs amid economic peaks and valleys, revisiting a Medicare-style levy would provide greater certainty for all Australians,” he said. Disability groups have arrived in Canberra to present an open letter to parliament on Budget Day, to launch a month-long campaign against ‘cruel’ and ‘unexplained’ plan cuts. The letter will detail the hardships felt by those whose funding has been cut. It comes as modeling released Tuesday by industry group National Disability Services shows a return of $2.25 for every dollar spent on the NDIS. The program contributed around $52.4 billion to the Australian economy in 2020/21, according to the research. The report found that the NDIS employed more than 270,000 people, in more than 20 different roles. Approximately 500,000 people with disabilities rely on the NDIS. Elly Desmarchelier, spokesperson for the Every Australian Counts campaign, said people who depended on funding were left without basic support to live with dignity. “We receive daily reports from across Australia of people not receiving the individualized funding they need to live with dignity – it’s cruel and dehumanizing,” she said. “The NDIS falls so short of its promise that, to people with disabilities, it feels like a lie.” The Defend Our NDIS campaign will reach out to marginal seats and regional cities in the federal election. National Disability Services chief executive Laurie Leigh said the NDIS supported the national economy and employed a large number of women. “It is disappointing that the focus over the past 18 months has shifted from the benefits of the program to the cost, with repeated attempts to restrict access to the NDIS and reduce the supports available,” Ms Leigh said. “Disabled people’s organizations and their staff have helped campaign to make the NDIS safe and will continue to stand with people with disabilities to ensure the program is one that puts people first.” Full details of NDIS funding will be outlined in the budget. Australian Associated Press

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