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Government’s NDIS Annual Pricing Review ‘Ripping Off’ Australians with disability and disability services

NDS logo along side an illustration of a group of microphones


National Disability Services (NDS) are calling out the government’s NDIS Annual Pricing Review for ‘ripping off’ Australians with disability and disability services across the country and accused the NDIA of ‘incompetence’ in managing the pricing process. 

The NDIS Annual Pricing Review rise of 3.19 per cent announced today falls far short of what the sector needs to provide the support that people with disability rely on. 

CEO of NDS Laurie Leigh says this pricing decision fails again to recognise the increased costs of operating in the current economy and there are concerns these prices will lead to more good quality, genuine service providers exiting the NDIS.  

This will leave participants without the supports they depend on, at the same time as criminals are taking advantage of the scheme to deprive people with disability of the funds needed for their support.  

“The government is ripping off both people with disability and service providers by not addressing known and accepted pricing errors over recent years.” 

“At a time when the cost of operating is rising, government is effectively cutting funds available to pay for disability services.” 

The timing of the release of the pricing announcement on the Friday before it takes effect also gives providers no time to update their systems for 1 July or to ensure participants have certainty in managing their costs for next week.  

“The mismanagement of the price setting arrangements and the bureaucratic bumbling around the timing shows that the NDIA lacks the competence to administer the NDIS Price Review.” 

“Today’s announcement confirms that greater transparency and independent price setting is the only way forward for quality and sustainable disability supports.” 

NDS has developed a joint statement with other provider associations and the major unions that calls on government to commit to a new era of better pricing for all NDIS stakeholders. 

The key concerns are that the Disability Support Worker Cost Model which sets prices for most everyday supports, will only cover minimum wage rises and does not include costs associated with inflation, insurance increases, basic administration and compliance with quality standards. Combined with the lack of price increases for services such as therapy, plan management and support coordination over several years we are worried we will see quality providers stop providing these supports altogether.  

A recent survey by Koorana Child and Family Services of 13 early childhood intervention providers, primarily in NSW, found the majority were currently running deficits forecasted to average $214K for FY’24. Many of these providers are considering exit from the market or are already in this process.   

CEO of Interaction, an NSW disability services provider, Brett Thompson says a key issue with the current pricing model is that particular service lines have not seen funding increases in years, however, staff are entitled to all wage increases. 

The pricing model doesn't take this into account so many providers are facing financial viability woes as a result, he says, with an independent pricing authority model being 'absolutely essential'. 

Providers will eventually have to consider cutting these particular services that many people with disability genuinely need and there are currently no affordable alternatives for the provision of the much-needed services, he says. 

CEO of PlayAbility, a service provider in regional NSW, Geoff Johnston says his community has seen events from bushfires to flooding, that have nearly drained their resources and funding to adequately support the huge geographical area they cover.  

Johnston, who has two children on the scheme himself, says his organisation had been wearing costs upward of $3000 a week the last five years to provide services critically needed by his community that the price model didn't cover. 

"As a community-based provider, we work with some of the most vulnerable families that aren't attractive to other providers. We are at risk of shutting our doors and if we do, no one will be there to support these people.” 

For media enquiries or to arrange an interview please contact Caroline Fleming 0452 504 402

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