THE Federal Budget announcement on 2 April 2019, presented a $7.1 billion surplus to be delivered by the next financial year. This projected surplus is possible in part due to a $3 billion cut to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The reason given for the cut is the slower-than-expected uptake of services under the NDIS. However, disability advocates blame the shortfall not on a lack of demand for services but on problems with people accessing the scheme.
Just three days after the cut to the NDIS, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. This announcement came as a shock after the Government has repeatedly rejected the idea of a Royal Commission for this sector.
Also, disability advocates are adamant the Government has appointed two Commissioners that have significant conflicts of interest. There have been calls for the Hon. John Ryan and Ms Barbara Bennett to stand down from the Royal Commission.
Both Mr Ryan and Ms Bennett have recently worked for institutions that the Royal Commission will examine.
The Labor Party has said that, if elected, the appointments of Mr Ryan and Ms Bennett will be reviewed.
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