Abbott government watch

Parliament house_280A few days ago Jenny Macklin put out a press release headlined “Abbott Government Dumps Disability Care Roll Out”, implying that the new Coalition Government has no intention to fully roll out the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) across the country. Google took me to a page where presumably the press release once existed, but has now been taken down.

Dr George Taleporos worries that both sides of politics may be using the NDIS for political point scoring.

Senator Mitch Fifield, Assistant Minister for Social Services has branded Jenny Macklin’s statement as “a lie”. They say they will honour existing agreements negotiated by the previous Government with the states and territories but not necessarily announcements made by Labor during the election period.

Nevertheless there is concern that in the context of budget tightening the LNP may delay or cut the scheme. Taleporos says the economic argument for an NDIS is strong and the evidence that it is an investment in our nation’s future undeniable. I think he is referring here to a Productivity Commission report that found the NDIS will save money in the long run. This sort argument is sometimes lost in short-term budgeting.

Please use this post as a roundtable to identify and discuss any other Abbott government implementation issues.

Image Credit: Michael Dawes (Flickr.com; CC BY-NC 2.0)

36 thoughts on “Abbott government watch”

  1. I’m not sure how long Google hold onto things in their cache, but for however long that is the press release referred to can be seen here

  2. I am aware of the reports of the latest NDIS implementations – what I do not understand is why both major parties have decided to politicise this reform.

    Cannot stomach the continual debate, it is exhausting.

  3. KM: the link went shortly after CarersNT posted it. I googled, gone. I have issues with Senator Fifield’s involvement with all this – in a doorstop interview, in the now-gone link, he has no idea where the next roll outs or trials of NDIS will be, having scrapped Labor’s choices; may or may not be in 2016.

    Easy to see, pollies remain stupid, in government or not.

  4. NDIS will be re-engineered, it was overly complex and too bureaucratic and never costed correctly or payment allowed for it. I am not sure what form it will end up in the end but it will be significantly different from the original.
    Gonski will probably never happen, or again if it does it will be very different to the current model (whatever that is after all the side deals with the states) – again it was never clear how it would be paid for when the price starts escalating in years 5 to 6 out. To be honest the Better Schools Program was never really Gonski in the first place. I never understood how throwing more money at schools was ever likely to work except to increase teachers’ salaries. There was next to nothing on improving outcomes.
    Direct Action will never happen – no votes in the senate, now or after July 1 2014 – unless Labor gives it to them. The LNP does not really want DA anyway, DA was always just a sop to the environmental voters in the Libs. They would much prefer to do nothing unless there is a Global agreement (fat chance in the next 5 years).
    Removal of regulations will happen – cheap and easy to do.
    PPL will happen but at the Greens $100k mark (maybe slightly higher) – that would suit the Nats more anyway.
    There will be fewer refugee boats – I think Rudd’s deal with PNG was always going to work in the medium term – probably with TPVs for those currently in the system (I think TPVs only need regulation not legislation but I might be wrong about that).
    No move on IR except around the edges. Individual contracts are allowed under FWA so you will see changes in regulations on that (greenfield and brownfield regulations will change.
    Other than that the next parliament will be about removing legislation not more legislation – the RET might be in trouble also.

  5. KM: the link went shortly after CarersNT posted it. I googled, gone. I have issues with Senator Fifield’s involvement with all this – in a doorstop interview, in the now-gone link, he has no idea where the next roll outs or trials of NDIS will be, having scrapped Labor’s choices; may or may not be in 2016.

    Given the sites mentioned weren’t due to be rolled out until 2016 they’ve got some time to work the details out or change it if they want to, perhaps based on feedback from the trial sites.

    Nevertheless there is concern that in the context of budget tightening the LNP may delay or cut the scheme.

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that happened, in the 2014 budget. Not completely cut, but cuts at the margins (say through amounts of qualification) and delays. Although they introduced the increase in the medicare levy went ahead I think that only covers about half the cost and they’ll have to find extra the money in the later years of the scheme (which was out of the timeframe for the budget forecasts).

    And the trials will provide much better figures on what the cost will be in practice. I know a couple of people who work providing services in the sector and they have been a bit surprised by how much private providers are planning on charging.

  6. (say through amounts of qualification)

    I meant “amounts or qualification” (the latter meaning who actually qualifies)

  7. Yes, private providers are definitely preparing to change – for the money, that’s what I have heard. Who’s in, who’s out, will be the next big thing; they can call for an age limit, as Labor did, yet so many are left out under that design. Look, this is just me saying this, but the cruelty of the probable way the NDIS will go is heart breaking. The disabilities people can have, each one is different. I doubt doctors and other qualified personnel are there any more to just actually “stick up” for each person.

    Anyway, I know it is a big reform and will take time – I hope the work continues!

  8. KM: the link went shortly after CarersNT posted it. I googled, gone.

    That’s why the link I posted was to the copy of the web page held in Google’s cache. While it has gone from the CarersNT website the cached copy will hang around for a bit longer. As of Friday afternoon it’s still there

  9. The government’s plans will add $7.1 billion to the underlying budget cash balance over the next four years – which is $1 billion bigger than first predicted.
    The analysis released on Friday by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) weighs up the spending and cuts promised by the main political parties ahead of the September 7 election.
    “This analysis once and for all puts to bed the lies from the Labor party over numerous years that there was a black hole in the coalition’s costings,” Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said in a joint statement.

  10. Bolter @ 4:

    I never understood how throwing more money at schools was ever likely to work except to increase teachers’ salaries. There was next to nothing on improving outcomes.

    I was talking to someone earlier this year who is a deputy principal of a primary school in a socio-economically disadvantaged area. The Partnerships Program which was a trial of Gonski made the difference between going to school with a spring in her step, knowing that there was some point to it all, as compared to the hopeless grind of not coping.

  11. Did we mention somewhere that senior political staff in the Abbott government will get no pay rise?

    Should be good for morale, and for staff turnover. Then there’s this:

    a long-time Coalition staffer warns morale around Government ranks is “abysmal” and “resentment is festering”.

    He predicts a bonanza for reporters because “the joint will leak like a sieve”.

    Could be interesting.

  12. It turns out that when Hockey and Abbott were going on about that ‘debt emergency’, what they meant was that the debt limit was too low. It all makes sense!

  13. Oh no the shit will never hit the fan for the Liberals, Paul. Think of the Howard government. Year upon year of completely unacceptable behaviour and year after year the press gallery waved them through. And of course, they are the Party of Fiscal Responsibility(TM). It doesn’t matter how much evidence piles up to the contrary. It just doesn’t.

  14. Tim Macknay @19, are you being sarcastic?

    If so, perhaps you are unaware of a Fundamental Premise of Finance:

    Labor Debt Bad
    Coalition & Private Debt Good.

    Accepting this will assist your analysis, going forward.

  15. I’ve just watched Tony Abbott stating that he will maintain his citizenship credentials while PM by continuing to perform voluntary roles with the firies and the SLSC. Citizen Abbott, first among men!

    Of course, as we’ve already noted in the initial skirmishes around whether or not it is unseemly to discuss global warming in the midst of a fire crisis, who controls the deployment of nationalist ideology deriving from Australia’s tradition of volunteerism will be critical.

    Most emergency workers are heavily trained in doing the right thing by their colleagues, themselves and their constituency. Now, you can’t be doing the right thing by ignoring the bleeding obvious. Abbott may be about to lose a chunk of his blokey constituency by continuing denial.

  16. In addition to which, Abbott is now in more trouble than he ever imagined especially if there are people willing to prosecute the case.

    Witness Abbott denying that the current NSW bushfire crisis has nothing to do with global warming and that UN officials are ‘talking out of (their) hats’.

    Compare and contrast his statement with that of the functional head of the fire fight in the Blue Mts who was at pains to stress that these fires are unseasonal. He is under orders but, such as they were, they were to refuse the script that these fires are just a part of living in Australia.

    No link to that i’view available.

    Abbott’s in trouble and he’ll lose as all those do who fight against rationality.

  17. jugney@25&26 I so hope you are correct. It is wrong to use his volunteerism as a prop and then deny what causes the need in the first place. I shudder every time I see or hear the man.

  18. Greg Hunt has finally put to rest that silly argument that increasing intensity & frequency of bushfires is linked to climate change:

    Environment Minister Greg Hunt has hosed down suggestions of a link between climate change and increased bushfire intensity, saying he had ”looked up what Wikipedia” said and it was clear that bushfires in Australia were frequent events that had occurred during hotter months since before European settlement.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/greg-hunt-uses-wikipedia-research-to-dismiss-links-between-climate-change-and-bushfires-20131023-2w1w5.html

    *Headdesk*
    *headdesk*

  19. Greg Hunt has finally put to rest that silly argument that increasing intensity & frequency of bushfires is linked to climate change

    Greg Hunt didn’t need to go to Wikipedia. He could have just pointed out that there has been no global warming for the past fifteen years, so linking fires in NSW to a something that hasn’t happened is nutty beyond belief. Still the Left always does struggle putting two coherent thoughts together.

  20. Hi Johno, and welcome to the cabaret.
    You must have missed the physics lesson where they explained the difference between heat and temperature.
    Don’t worry, I’m sure someone will explain it to you sooner or later.

  21. I suspect that Johno is one of a tiny percentage of people for whom an ideological opposition to the science of global warming is fixed and unassailable. Much of the heat from global warming goes into the ocean heat sink, 3ish percent is reflected in air temperature which is likewise responsive to solar intensity, variations in atmospheric aerosols due to eruptions and the La Niña- El Niño cycle. Despite the impact of strong La Niña events and being on the downswing of solar intensity in recent years we have just had the hottest summer on record and the hottest September on record. Record breaking heat and protracted drys, especially in the SE of the continent, will continue to occur as the planet warms and there will be an increase in the frequency and intensity of fires as a result. Bolt and likeminded individuals will indulge themselves in onanistic ideological warfare against science and yet still we will burn.

  22. “no global warming for the past fifteen years”
    A claim repeated ad nauseam since about 2009.

    Never backed up by the data. The once-was-Senator Steve Fielding was one of the more prominent locals to pursue this claim, often illustrating it with a graph:
    http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/the-real-reason-ill-fight-in-the-senate-on-climate-change/

    In fact, then as now, the data shows clearly that the *rate* of warming has been more or less flat over recent years. In other words, warming has continued – the rate of rise has steadied.

    Those who had trouble with high school maths may need to think a little to avoid confusing
    rate of change of temperature (positive but not increasing)
    with
    actual temperature level (therefore increasing).

    See, eg draft summary of Assessment Report 5, IPCC 2013, page 27.
    Note that the top graph shows not plain vanilla “temperature”, but (just as in Fielding’s chart) average temperature *anomaly*: the overall average at year x, minus overall average over long, long term (since 1850, say, or longer). If there is warming, the result is a positive number.

    Note that Fielding’s 2009 graph and the IPCC 2013 graph both show the trend continuing in *positive numbers*. A positive diffence can shows that current temperatures, year on year, continue to rise above the long term trend. In other words, overall global warming is continuing, but not at present getting faster. http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5-SPM_Approved27Sep2013.pdf

    15 years is barely enough data to see the signal through the noise, but its there alright.

Comments are closed.