“Carers Australia lends its support to the widespread protest against funding the NDIS by draining supports for other disadvantaged Australians,” said Ms Ara Creswell, CEO of Carers Australia, in response to the outcry over elements of the Government’s Omnibus Social Security Bill.

“The NDIS is not a source of income support and was never intended to be.  It provides a range of supports and services to people who meet the eligibility criteria. The NDIS does not put food on the table, pay household bills or the myriad other everyday expenses Australians must meet, including people with disability. Indeed, on a conservative estimate, between 800,000 to 900,000 people with disability will not be eligible for packages of supports under the NDIS when it is rolled out,” said Ms Cresswell.

“The tactic of cutting essential funding to the larger cohort of disadvantaged Australians in the name of NDIS long-term affordability is unconscionable. Such an approach is also clouding the universal enthusiasm with which the NDIS was welcomed across the community sector.

“Even in the case of family and friend carers, who are amongst the greatest exponents of the NDIS, the supports they once received to meet their own needs, such as access to adequate respite and some forms of counselling, are now unavailable to many as the funding to provide them is being continuously transferred into the NDIS.

“We do not want the NDIS to be perceived as a vortex, sucking in much needed support to the wider community of disadvantaged Australians.  Nor do we understand the necessity of such a strategy.”