CSSA backs election promise to review National Disability Insurance Scheme

LABOR’s pledge to review the National Disability Insurance Scheme is an important first step in ensuring the sustainability and functioning of one of the country’s most important social support services, according to Catholic Social Services Australia.

“The $30 billion system that currently provides services to more than 500,000 people is failing to deliver value for money and the best possible services to customers,” CSSA Chairman Francis Sullivan said.

“The NDIS system is not working as it should for participants or service providers.”

Welcome review: Francis Sullivan is backing a Labor commitment to review the NDIS, with the aim of improving services to some of Australia’s most vulnerable.

Support workers are currently poorly paid and the CSSA wants a review of the NDIS to ensure that disability support staff are employed on a permanent basis and not on a casual basis, so that their work is not undervalued.

The CSSA also wants a level playing field to be created between registered and unregistered providers, and appropriate means of complaint resolution to be created when unregistered providers fail to provide an appropriate standard of care.

Sullivan said a major concern for NDIS service providers is the number of unfunded activities provided to clients to ensure they are properly supported.

“It is unreasonable and unsustainable for the government to expect non-governmental organizations to provide the many services that are not funded,” he said.

“CSSA NDIS service providers operate at a loss because funding does not cover the costs of providing services to clients.

“This is clearly unsustainable, and we are now in a situation where some CSSA members are reluctantly considering pulling out of the program due to significant operating losses.”

Under attack: Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he has ‘a fantastic team’ with many capable of filling the role of social services minister if the Coalition wins next month’s election.

Mr Sullivan also took aim at the Prime Minister after Scott Morrison announced on Sunday that current Family and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston would replace outgoing Health Minister Greg Hunt if the Coalition won the May elections.

He said the Prime Minister’s decision not to announce who will hold the social services portfolio ahead of the May 21 election shows how little the Coalition cares about the more than three million Australians living on the edge of poverty or below.

“It’s typical of a government that for nearly a decade has honored the poor and disadvantaged in our community,” Sullivan said.

“For years we have seen the real value of social security benefits fall well below the poverty line.

“In a society where the rich continue to get richer, the Coalition has made no real effort to tackle a huge underclass of single mothers, people living with disabilities, marginalized Indigenous communities and the unemployed. .

Mr Morrison defended his decision on the grounds that it is more important to voters who will lead the defence, treasury, finance, foreign affairs and health portfolios rather than the social care portfolio.

“The great news of [social services] is that I have such a fantastic team that there are a lot of people who could [fill that role]“said Mr Morrison.

About Antoine L. Cassell

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