Image: The Simpsons against the Liberals on Facebook.
The 2019 Australian Budget was released on Tuesday the 2nd of April, boasting a $7.1 billion surplus.
This is the first Budget to be delivered here with a surplus in 12 years, so how is it so huge?
I think the answer to this was put best by Greens spokesman on disability services, Jordan Steele-John, “we’re back in the black, but that surplus is built on the backs of disabled people,” about 23 percent of the surplus is a result of cuts from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The NDIS is a program that when completely rolled out will provide funding for supports and services for 460,000 Australians aged under 65, who have permanent and significant disabilities.
There are around 4.3 million Australians who have a disability and for many people, the NDIS will be the first time they receive the disability support they need.
$1.6 billion that wasn’t used by the NDIS last year is being used to fill out the surplus, rather than being included in this 2019-20 budget.
Spending on the NDIS for the next year will drop by $3 billion in total, from last year’s Budget of $20.75 billion to $17.85 billion.
Disability advocates have argued that the slower than expected uptake was a result of people having problems accessing the scheme, not due to a lower than expected demand for the scheme.
While some disability advocates say that a tightening up of definitions of conditions has seen people lose packages, the overwhelming problem remains that there are huge bottlenecks caused both by major problems in the NDIS’ internal systems, and by problems in the supply of services at time when the disability services market is being transformed by the arrival of the NDIS.
“The bottom line is, Australians with disability are the ones paying so Scott Morrison can bolster his books,” said Opposition spokeswoman for social services Linda Burney.
And she’s right, the Budget we are seeing blatantly takes funding away from supporting people with disabilities to fill out a surplus for the Liberal party to boast over as we come closer and closer to the federal election.
The NDIS is already chronically underfunded and these cuts are a disgusting and transparent display of the government’s regard for Australian’s with disabilities.
Straight up, you should be angry about this.
If you’re not putting the same amount of anger and not vocalising the way you did and do around any other political issue that affected you personally (like the tampon tax, maybe?), you are throwing intersectionality out the window.
This is a national disgrace.
If you are eligible to vote in the upcoming federal election, remember that this is how the coalition treats and regards minorities.
Vote them out, make it clear that treating Australians with disabilities as less than is not okay and will not stand.