Policy Submission: Productivity Commission Draft Report – Disability Care and Support
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JFA Purple Orange made this opportunity to make a second submission to the Productivity Commission regarding future arrangements for disability care and support.
This second submission is in response to the draft report released by the Productivity Commission on 28 February 2011, and includes material we presented at the
Productivity Commission public hearing in Adelaide on 18 April 2011. In preparing this submission we have drawn on a range of resources and expertise within our organisation. These experiences variously include research, advocacy, experience at all levels of service provision (from frontline to Chief Executive), government policy and procurement, employment, youth work, work with children and families, mental health services, acute health services, support for older people, and accident insurance.
In addition, we used our conference format known as The Loop where we take a themed conversation to a number of regional venues so that country South Australians living with disability and other local stakeholders have the opportunity to participate. For this submission, we spoke with over 100 people across venues in Adelaide, Whyalla, Mount Gambier, and the Riverland.
Strengths of Productivity Commission Draft Report
The Julia Farr Association believes the draft report contains many good elements and the Productivity Commission is to be commended for its careful attention to the brief. These include:
The proposed arrangements are inclusive of all people currently living with significant disability;
That it has a highly personalised focus, mindful of the person’s strengths and capacity, with attention to a future where people are contributors to their community and economy;
There is a strong expectation that mainstream services will be properly welcoming and inclusive;
The absence of a co-contribution mechanism makes sense, on the assumption that the method of revenue generation means that higher income earners make higher contributions through taxation or levy;
The coverage of all reasonable and necessary support;
The recognition of the importance of funding innovations. NOTE - we query if this will be on an individual or population basis. We believe there are two imperatives:
- To make sure that individual planning assistance does indeed support people to imagine an ordinary valued life and how this might be achieved, as this line of enquiry sets the scene for innovative thinking, as distinct from conventional thinking leading to conventional service choices that may be sub-optimal,
- To set aside funds for general innovations, recognising that innovative thinking can come from anywhere, not just government or service agencies;
The three options for distributing a personalised budget and the use of block contracts only in exceptional circumstances.
It is important that plans get signed off quickly. It is good that people can add their own resources, and can transfer up to 10% to the subsequent year;
The consideration of employment of family members is thoughtful, and the pilot is a good idea;
Accountability and risk management mechanisms (which will need to be simple and accessible);
The mechanism for reviewing the work of the new scheme, both externally and internally;
The information database on-line to assist people to make choices;
Early intervention (investment) funding in addition to individualised budget;
Legislated ring fenced funding via consolidated revenue.