The NDIS is out of control | John Kehoe - The Centre for Independent Studies
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The NDIS is out of control | John Kehoe

The Australian economy has performed better than most economists predicted a year ago. However, probe deeper and things look disturbing. We face not just a productivity drought, but runaway government spending programs that, left unchecked, will lead to budget deficits and stagnation or decline in living standards.

Australia, as Treasury’s Intergenerational Report warned last year, will become older, more indebted, spend big on social services, grow slower, have weaker income growth and tax working-age people more over coming decades. Savings need to be found, but where?

Australia is now one of the biggest government spenders on disability in the world, according to the OECD – more than double the UK and Canada, and on track to go past the European welfare states of Iceland, Finland and Sweden. The National Disability and Insurance Scheme, which is projected to blow past $100 billion a year, needs to be curtailed. But how?

John Kehoe is economics editor of the Australian Financial Review and a former Washington correspondent.