Federal Budget summary 2022
The Federal government released their first budget on Tuesday 25th October. This summary provides a high level overview of the key announcements for members. Disability and Housing had significant focus in the budget, however there is little immediate relief to reduce the cost of living for people on Disability Support Pensions, and people in the rental market.
NDIS and Disability
- Increased funding to the NDIA by $380 million in 2023-24, which includes funding of $158.2 million for the Agency to employ 380 additional permanent staff
- $18.1 million over two years has been allocated for the NDIS Review which will make recommendations on bringing the scheme back to its original vision ‘back on track’. No reforms have been included in this budget.
- $11.2 million over 4 years from 2022–23 to increase existing support for disability systemic advocacy
- $126.3 million over four years from 2022–23 to establish a cross-agency Fraud Fusion Taskforce, to bolster fraud detection in the NDIS from providers, and reinvest back into the scheme.
- $21.2 million over 3 years from 2022–23 to support people with disability and their families with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) appeals process
- $12.4 million in 2022–23 to introduce an expert review pathway to resolve disputes arising from NDIA decisions, reduce the number of appeals to the AAT, and provide better and earlier outcomes for NDIS participants
- A new National Centre for Excellence in Intellectual Disability Health will be established with $15.9 million in funding over four years and $6.6 million per year ongoing. The centre will act as a hub for expertise, resources and research on the health of people with intellectual disability.
- The planned National Autism Strategy will receive $5.3 million in funding out of this year’s budget for initial research and consultation, and to support existing services.
- A measure to increase the number of NDIS participants in Queensland, first reported in the 2019-20 MYEFO, has its final injection of funding ($7.6 million) in 2022.
- The foundation of the housing focus was the announcement of the National Housing Accord, which will bring together government, industry and investors in a collaborative approach to address the housing crisis and address supply and affordability. aimed at addressing the supply and affordability of housing. A key strategy will be the development of a 10-year National Housing and Homelessness Plan in 2023.
- An initial $350 million in funding for another 10,000 new affordable homes through the accord, on top of the government’s election commitments to build 30,000 new social and affordable homes in the first five years of the Housing Australia Future Fund and the National Housing Infrastructure Facility.
- The Housing Australia Future Fund will provide a welcome $10 billion investment across State and Territories, including 20,000 new social housing dwelling and 4,000 for women and children impacted by family and domestic violence and older women at risk of homelessness.
Natural disasters and emergency preparedness
- While the Government will provide $630.4 million over four years from 2022-23 to strengthen Australia’s resilience to disasters, this is primarily in relation to infrastructure, and there is no dedicated measure to ensure people with disability will be safe in climate emergencies and other disasters.
Training and employment
- 480,000 fee-free spots in vocational education and training, targeted to priority groups, including people with disability, First Nations people and job seekers.
- Additional funding of $485.5 million to fund an additional 20,000 university places for students from under-represented and low socio-economic backgrounds.
- $19.4 million for Disability Employment Services (DES) program for a two year extension of the program.
Health and Mental health
- decrease of the maximum co-payment under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from $42.50 to $30 per script.
Family and Domestic violence
- $1.3 billion over six years from 2021-22 is being directed towards initiatives to reduce all forms of family, domestic and sexual violence against women including improved reach into diverse communities, including the disability community.