The Federal government has recently committed $1 billion to start up a National Disability Insurance Scheme for as many as 20,000 people with serious lifetime disabilities, and their carers and families.
This certainly makes a nice change from cuddling up to a union that has plundered the wages of the very workforce that helps to care for these people.
However, here are some of the ways in which the NDIS – a scheme which is supposed to help genuinely disadvantaged people who are doing it really, really tough – could have been funded from as far back as 2007, when this government was first elected.
- Estimated cost of the unnecessary pink batts scheme, whose graft and waste is well-documented: $2.45 billion, followed by another $424 million to fix the dangerous installations
- Estimated cost of the Building the Education Revolution scheme, ditto: $16.2 billion
- Estimated cost (so far) of the National Broadband Network, as WiFi conquers the known universe: at least $36 billion
- Resources available to the Climate Change ministerial portfolio in 2010-2011, to fix a ‘problem’ whose tractability and indeed existence is questionable: $1.57 billion
- Labor’s ‘literacy and numeracy partnership’ (4 years) which has produced no measurable improvements in either: $540 million
- The dramatically unsuccessful Productivity Places Program which was so badly administered that it is impossible to tell who benefited from it, if anyone: $2.1 billion
Sadly, this catalogue of over-administered political bankruptcy tends to point to one conclusion: the NDIS will become just another unauditable and potentially tragic botch-up. Only time will tell.
Philippa Martyr blogs at Transverse City