Minister Shorten has wasted no time in getting to grips with his portfolio. Just a month has passed since the federal election, and 3 weeks since he was sworn in, and there have been a number of announcements in recent days affecting disability service providers, most significantly today's price guide announcement.
The announcement today of the NDIS Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits 2022-23 by Bill Shorten, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, includes a 9 per cent increase in prices and an additional $514 million in funding for registered providers. This is a very welcome response from the new federal government which recognises the additional costs providers have had to bear during the pandemic as well as the costs of changes required of the sector by the NDIS reform process being led by Minister Shorten. The pricing changes which take effect from 1 July include a 9 per cent increase in both provider prices and participant plans. This includes a temporary 12-month 2 per cent loading for providers and recognises the additional costs of compliance with Covid requirements which have been borne by providers, the increased costs providers are facing as a result of the Fair Work Commission decision increase in minimum award wages by 4.6 per cent, and the impacts of changes to the SCHADS award conditions. In addition, Minister Shorten also announced $514 million for activity in the current financial year to support registered providers in quality and safeguarding costs and improving their business processes, for example with rostering systems. The Federal Government is seeking in return a commitment from providers to the processes needed for NDIS reform such as changes to systems and business models. NDS has been closely engaged with the new federal government over the last few weeks advocating for a significant uplift for providers. We welcome this package as an appropriate response to our calls for compensation for providers. We support the call to action to providers to engage with and contribute to the NDIS reform process. NDS will be conducting a full analysis the Pricing Arrangements and Price Limits announced today and will issue more detailed advice to members in the coming days.