Social service reform through the Budget
The budget reemphasises early intervention and education as key strategies in disability and family violence:
$100+ million to be spent implementing the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children
The creation of a $2.1 billion NDIS savings fund to quarantine some of the efficiencies and cost savings achieved in welfare policy change areas for future NDIS implementation and optimisation
$118 million in educational support for those living with disability.
The budget entrenches employment as the coalition’s answer to rising social service costs:
90,000 disability support recipients will have their payments reviewed to assess capacity to work
Increasing scrutiny on work for the dole recipients
$750 million investment in training and internship programs for young unemployed
Further flexibility provided to Australian Disability Enterprises to maximise employment for NDIS participants at SWS equivalent wages
$96 million to be spent on testing the effectiveness of innovative policies aimed at reducing welfare dependency.
Rising health delivery costs driven by the aging population are partially tackled by further $2.9 billion invested in hospitals but this has been partially funded by a $1 billion decrease in complex healthcare funding in the aged care system (see our section on Aged Care in our "Business" Budget analysis).
The sleeper in last night’s budget was clearly the “not yet announced” decisions worth around $1.6 billion. Will some of this policy change has social service impact? Stay tuned!