About six per cent of the national Disability Employment Services program will be discontinued. Image by Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS
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‘Immoral’: crackdown vowed on inflated NDIS prices

December 17, 2023

“Immoral” cost inflation for participants of the NDIS scheme is in the sights of a taskforce established to stamp out rorts.

NDIS Minister Bill Shorten says some “greedy” providers have been exploiting the government disability support scheme by charging people more for the same services and equipment when they are receiving the support package.

He likened the “shockingly widespread” tactic to the so-called “wedding tax” that some businesses slap on goods and services for couples getting married.

Government Services Minister Bill Shorten
 Bill Shorten says unscrupulous providers who exploit NDIS participants will be stopped. Image by Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS 

From next week, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will be able to take action under consumer law, and have greater ability to take civil court action.

Mr Shorten said unscrupulous providers who exploit participants would be stopped.

“What we see at the moment is that it’s unethical, it’s immoral, but it’s not illegal to rip people off,” he told reporters on Sunday.

“Now we’re going to give the legal backup so that people with disabilities … don’t see their money being siphoned off by greedy service providers who just see them as cheap and easy targets to rob.”

The National Disability Insurance Scheme logo
 People will be empowered to dob in providers ripping off disabled people through the NDIS. Image by Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS 

The ACCC, NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and the National Disability Insurance Agency will form a multi-agency $6.7 million taskforce to stop participants being over-charged.

People would be empowered to dob in providers ripping off disabled people.

“It’s long overdue,” Mr Shorten said.

“All of a sudden, 630,000 people are going to go from being treated as human ATMs to sheriffs, making sure that the robbers can’t take their money, and we will be backing them up 110 per cent.”

The government is confident it will receive bipartisan support to toughen the rules.

Nationals leader David Littleproud said the opposition was prepared to work constructively with the government.

“If they want to tackle this issue, then I think we need to tackle it in a bipartisan way,” he told Nine’s Today show.

“That gives confidence to the families out there that rely on the NDIS and I think that’s the important principle that I think everybody signs up to.”