National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) & Aged Care
- Aged Care – spending on aged care is expected to be $29.8 billion. Building on the $18.3 billion committed in 2021‑22, the Government is continuing to implement comprehensive aged care reforms and additional services in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (Aged Care Royal Commission). Specifically, $522 million is allocated to deliver the second year of a five-year implementation plan of a reform to the aged care system, in response to the Aged Care Royal Commission.
- The NDIS – this year’s budget provides $33.9 billion in 2022-23 and grows to $44.6 billion in four years in order to support the over 500,000 Australians who have permanent and significant disability. That said, a recent analysis by a contributor for Pro Bono Australia indicated that following the failed attempts to introduce independent ‘robo-assessments’, further NDIS cuts are likely.
- National Disability Strategy (now Australian Disability Strategy 2021 – 2032) – we were encouraged to see that this budget commits $81.2 million to continue the Disability Information Gateway, along with $10.1 million to engage with people with disability on the implementation of the strategy.
Cost of Living
- A $250 one-off payment will be made to six million pensioners, carers, veterans, job seekers, concession cardholders and some self-funded retirees.
- The fuel excise tax has been slashed, with a cut of 22 cents a litre for six months, or approx. $11 in savings for a 50L tank.
- Low and Middle Income Tax Offset (LMITO) – those eligible for the offset currently receive between $255 and $1,080 when they file their taxes, but under the changes, they will now receive between $675 and $1,500, paid out from July 1.
- In a report by ABC News: “Some economists have expressed concern that the typically $7-billion offset [LMITO] could act as a stimulus payment and add to growing inflation pressures — in turn, forcing the Reserve Bank to lift official interest rates earlier than it otherwise would have. But others have argued it would be a bad look for the government to dump the offset while keeping its expensive stage-three tax cuts — due to kick in 2024-25 — which overwhelmingly benefit higher-income earners.“
Note: Australia’s inflation rate has risen alongside the cost of living although there has been a lack of wage rises to compensate for the impacts of inflation.
Mental health and health
- $1.7 billion towards the objectives of the Primary Health Care 10 Year Plan.
- Screening, testing, and telehealth – investing $55.7 million to encourage Australians for regular health checks, diagnostic screening, and other preventive health activities, with a focus on continued uptake of telehealth.
- Women’s health – $333 million to increase outcomes in women’s health, including $58 million for diagnosis, treatment and awareness of endometriosis.
- Medicare – investment of $133 billion over four years, including $31.4 billion in 2022–23, an increase of $7.3 billion compared to the 2021–22 Budget. Telehealth will now be a permanent part of Medicare.
Prevention of violence
- $1.3 billion allocated to the national plan to end all forms of violence against women and children. The breakdown from this allocation is that $203.6 million will go towards prevention measures; $328.2 million will be allocated to early intervention efforts; $480.2 million will be provided as immediate support for survivors fleeing violence; $290.9 million for recovery efforts; $3.4 million to implement the recommendations of the Respect@Work report.
For more analysis of the budget for people with disabilities, please visit ‘Budget changes little for people with disability‘ on the Pro Bono website.