While the recent Federal Budget covered a lot about job creation and the economy, there are some changes and initiatives that may be relevant for people with a disability.
Extra funding has been allocated to the NDIS. There are also changes to superannuation and some tax cuts for low income earners.
Today we are providing an overview of the key budget announcements associated with the NDIS and others that may impact you.
Extra funds for the NDIS.
The NDIS will receive an extra $13.2 billion in funding over four years. In total, funding for the NDIS is expected to grow to $122 billion with contributions from the commonwealth as well as states and territories.
Since 2013-14, the NDIS has grown from a trial of just over 7,000 Australians to around 450,000 Australians, with over half receiving support for the first time. This number is expected to grow to 530,000 in the next few years.
An additional 83,000 workers will be needed by 2024 to support the scheme’s growth according to NDIS Minister, Senator Linda Reynolds. This would take the number of workers in the sector to almost 353,000 people.
Digital option for Disability Employment Services.
From 1 January 2022 people with disability who are eligible for Disability Employment Services and are job-ready can choose to participate in digital services. This means fewer face-to-face meetings with a job agency.
Early intervention support.
Almost $18 million over four years will be provided for early intervention support to young children with developmental concerns or disability.
The government says this funding will ensure children and their families establish early connections with mainstream and community support services. This includes access to workshops and supported playgroups to assist children to develop the skills and confidence they need later in life.
Code of conduct.
New regulations are expected to be implemented across the aged care, disability and veterans’ care sectors. The changes should make it easier for care and support workers to work across the three sectors.
A new code of conduct will be developed. This means workers will need to meet the same standards of behaviour whether they are providing supports under the NDIS, aged care or veterans’ care programs.
The details of this measure and how it will be implemented are yet to be announced.
If you are employed, there are two changes to superannuation that may be relevant.
- Employers now need to pay superannuation for workers earning less than $450 per month. This will benefit many low income and casual workers.
- Employer paid superannuation (also known as the “superannuation guarantee”) will increase from 9.5% to 10% from 1 July 2021. The rate will increase in 0.5% increments until it reaches 12% in 2025.
Low income tax cuts.
For low income earners, the low and middle income tax offset will continue into the 2021-2022 financial year. This provides an end of financial year tax rebate of up to $1080 for singles and $2160 for couples, depending on how much you earn. If you are eligible, it will be applied to your tax return.
Workers with a taxable income of $37,000 or less will pay $255 less tax. Workers earning between $48,000 and $90,000 will get the full $1080 offset.
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