PM Avoids Care-Driven Economic Recovery For Old-Fashioned Approach


Yet, thanks in large part to the creativity and passion of its people, Australia has a global example of innovative social infrastructure in the care economy, which is already making a huge and largely unrecognized contribution to our economic growth, employment and welfare: National invalidity insurance scheme.

Modeling published Thursday by Per Capita shows that the overall economic benefits of NDIS to the Australian economy will likely exceed $ 50 billion per year.

It seems like the infrastructure in Australia still means guys with hard hats and hi-vis construction items, not women in smocks and sane shoes taking care of people.

Yet the federal government, far from recognizing its advantage in putting together a decade-long world-class social infrastructure program and building on that investment, is already seeking to downsize the regime, saying it faces challenges. an “unsustainable cost explosion” of about $ 50 billion over five years.

These claims just don’t pile up, and not just because the modeling released by the government to support these claims has been hotly contested by disability advocates and service providers.

Funding for essential care and services is still viewed by Australian policymakers as a cost rather than an investment. In contrast, defense spending is seen as a way to support innovation and job creation: our government apparently has no qualms about spending billions of dollars on defense deals that may never come to fruition. all in the name of job creation and growth.

But, as our analysis shows, the care economy is much more efficient at creating these jobs and growth than defense spending: the fiscal multiplier effect – that is, the benefits to the economy at the end of the day. meaning that of NDIS.

The positive impact of defense spending on the economy as a whole is about half that of NDIS.Credit: Louis Douvis

NDIS employs over 270,000 people in 20 different occupations and indirectly contributes to the employment of tens of thousands of additional workers across Australia. The gendered nature of care work, both paid and unpaid, means that NDIS funding supports more jobs for women and also allows unpaid family caregivers to re-enter the paid work market.

Additionally, with participant funding spent largely in local retailers and service providers, the money distributed through NDIS spills over into local communities quickly, shifting into salaries and small business support across the country. a much higher rate than other types of government spending.

Co-designed with the participation of people with disabilities, their families and caregivers, NDIS is a transformative social insurance program and a model of how innovative investments in social infrastructure can have widespread benefits across the board. whole economy.


Rather than cutting the costs of care, Scott Morrison would be well advised to follow Biden’s lead and make investing in social infrastructure a central part of our economic recovery.

With NDIS as a model, he might even call it “The Australian Way”.

Emma Dawson is the Executive Director of Per Capita. False Economics: The Consequences of Reducing Costs in NDIS is published Thursday.

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