In contrast to the general rancour in politics this week, the release of the Productivity Commission’s draft report on a National Disability Insurance Scheme was welcomed by just about everybody. Even the Opposition Organ joined the chorus, which encompassed both major parties.
I won’t claim to have gotten my head around the ins and outs of the issue; there will be flaws – and perhaps serious ones – with the PC’s specific model proposed in the draft. One potential minefield is, of course, the question of just who should be covered. The broad principles, however, do indeed seem like a no-brainer, and the expenditure of an additional $6.3 billion annually on one of society’s most disadvantaged groups a very good use of money.
But the chorus of approval got me wondering. Even these days, $6.3 billion a year is a lot of money. There’s roughly ten million households in Australia, so the extra expense comes to around $630 per household annually. That’s $12 per week. And, ultimately, the households of Australia will pick up the bill.
So why is it that we can so easily we afford $12 per week to help the disabled – so easily, that there doesn’t seem to be any inclination for anyone in politics to quibble – and yet the costs of reducing greenhouse emissions are going to be so utterly intolerable that there will be a “people’s revolt”?
Please consider this a general thread on the Commission’s report. Are the various stakeholder groups pleased? For those of you living with a disability, or caring for someone who does, how does the Commission’s recommendations sound to you?