NDIS: Greatest rip-off in history

by PAUL COLLITS – ANYONE with the remotest direct knowledge of the NDIS, or of anyone attempting to access it, will know that it is not fit for purpose. 

Of the two totally and permanently work-disabled people I know, one has just had his second application denied, and the other has been waiting – unable to leave his own house without help – for two years and is only now getting them to come and see him. 

The NDIS eats up over $42b a year – almost our defence budget – on not helping people with genuine disabilities while feathering the nests of every crook under the sun. It is little wonder our economy is in the toilet.

I can only assume that many hundreds of thousands of Australians are in a similar position.

After the ongoing UniParty climate scam and ScoMo’s near trillion-dollar COVID scam, the NDIS would have to be the greatest rip-off in the history of Australian public policy.


No doubt, there are other contenders, but we can set them aside for now.

The NDIS has it all – a non-solution not only in search of a non-problem but actually creating a new, massive problem.

It is a centraliser’s utopia; a seed-bed of crony socialism and a source of misery for thousands.

It is a spring of largesse for the inevitably outsourced “service providers” who have created a whole new industry, courtesy of the generosity and naivete of Howard-era privatising and out-sourcing theoreticians.

There is more than enough meat here for both political scientists and public choice economists.

The cost of the scheme is as follows: Total expenditure from the Commonwealth and States and territories on the NDIS is estimated at $36.7b in 2022–23 and is expected to be $41.9b in 2023–24, a growth rate of 14.4 per cent.

In the subsequent three years, the annual growth rates are projected to be 11.6, 10.9 and 7.9 per cent respectively.

It costs about as much annually as Medicare and aged care (another disaster of public policy) combined. It cost a billion dollars to set up in 2012.

Philippa Martyr noted then, at Quadrant Online: “The Federal government has recently committed $1 billion to start up a National Disability Insurance Scheme for as many as 20,000 people with serious lifetime disabilities, and their carers and families.”

Twenty thousand folks in 2012. The numbers now are, well, pretty arresting.

The NDIS Quarterly Report shows there are now more than 550,000 Australians with disability receiving support from the scheme.

About 23,000 new participants joined the NDIS this past quarter.

So, over 500,000 now, with more than the initial number now joining every quarter!

That is one mighty growth industry, right there. We seem to be becoming a disabled nation.


And, as I said at the outset, genuinely disabled people cannot get a start. Unless their medicos have the secret sauce, the magic code words to use in applications for entry to the scheme.

Of course, one of the many outsourced industries that has sprung up is the “I’ll get you into the NDIS for a fee” brigade.

On the current NDIS budget, by comparison, we spend about $50b on defence these days, a core task of government in a world facing multiple global threats.

We spend nearly that on not helping people with genuine disabilities while feathering the nests of every crook under the sun.

It is little wonder that our economy is in the toilet, and relying on the Ponzi, mass immigration boondoggle to look like it is staying afloat.

Speaking of scammers, this is the current big story about the scheme, but it is only one of many.

We have all heard tales – or, perhaps, we haven’t – of recipients getting trips to Vanuatu for massage therapy. These clearly only scratch the surface. The scheme has even recruited a senior copper to lead scam investigations.

The scammers are part of the whole out-sourced cartel that, for the statisticians and Bernard Salt types, goes to the endless growth of the “social assistance” sector. A social assistance sector that does little in the way of socially assisting.

It is just about Australia’s only steadily growing industry, outside renewable energy. Here a better word than “scam” might be “rort”.

The Australian Financial Review noted in 2022: “The federal Labor government is reviewing a major loophole that has allowed 90 per cent of NDIS providers to be unregistered, largely avoiding safety and quality requirements and exposing the [then] $30b scheme to fraud and scams.”


The ABC noted more recently: “Criminals manipulating participants in the NDIS have used their money to buy drugs, holidays and new cars.

“Among the instances of fraud of the $42 billion scheme were a $20,000 holiday and a $73,000 car.

“NDIS participants have also been forced to hand over cash for criminals to buy drugs, and later harassed by the fraudulent providers.”

Then there was The Australian: “Billions in NDIS funds are being used to buy illicit drugs and other items ‘not consistent’ with participants’ plans, as agency officials revealed evidence indicating up to 90 per cent of plan managers were committing fraud.”

Ninety per cent? Not a “few bad apples” then.

It is an endemic rort, not a minor scam. It is one for the public choice theorists, who have told us over time about the way government agencies are captured by industry.

In the case of NDIS, government created the agency and the industry all by itself. Like Jerry Seinfeld throwing his car keys to the homeless person in the street and nodding meaningfully towards his stinky BMW.

Finally, we go back to the AFR, which reports a senior “integrity” official with the scheme saying “it is too late to prosecute”. Oops.

Of course, the NDIS was the brainchild of Julia Gillard. It counts, sadly, as one of her few “achievements”.

Her other, equally hollow non-achievement was being our first female prime minister. She now chairs the Wellcome Trust, a British-based global eugenics outfit.

I guess she might also claim the $400m+ Royal Commission into Getting the Catholic Church into Strife over an ancient and over-hyped problem.

That was payback for a priest-chasing Victorian (where else?) lawyer called Vivian Waller, who had helped young Julia secure a seat in parliament in the 1990s.


The NDIS is now overseen by the endlessly grumpy looking Bill Shorten, another Labor failure.

Of course, it all worsened on the Liberals’ watch. They were there for nearly a decade. I know it wasn’t their idea

Of course, Shorten blames the Liberals for the mess, without saying how they had done this: “Minister Shorten said a decade of Liberal mismanagement of the Scheme had left Australians with the worst of both worlds: an NDIS costing $50b by 2025-26 but that too often under-delivered for people with disability.”

Shorten is both right and wrong and inevitably glib, of course. But you either kill-off these things altogether, or fix them.

Some insiders have, indeed, concluded that the NDIS is beyond repair. Would the 2020s Liberal Party be brave enough to ditch it and start again?

It will be yet another of many tests for the next government after the seeming first term implosion of Airbus Albo’s bedraggled government.

The to-do list is already long, and growing exponentially.

Leave the last, hideously ironic and prescient word to Philippa Martyr (speaking in 2012): “Sadly, this catalogue of over-administered political bankruptcy tends to point to one conclusion: the NDIS will become just another unauditable and potentially tragic botch-up. Only time will tell.

Well, time has told.

Philippa (who writes regularly for The Catholic Weekly) is a smart lady.

But you probably didn’t need to be a genius to have concluded, pretty sharply, at the time of the National Disastrous Disability Non-Insurance Scheme’s arrival, that it would quickly become a slowly moving train wreck.PC

Paul Collits

On a wing & a scam…

MAIN PHOTOGRAPH: Bill Shorten. (courtesy The Mandarin)

8 thoughts on “NDIS: Greatest rip-off in history

  1. We should all now know, 60-plus years into our treacherous globalist enslavement, that this is what socialists, Fabians, communists, technocrats, corporate stakeholders and totalitarians of all stripes do when they strut the world stage unopposed. Follow their behind-the-scenes but influential international careers, such as ex-PM Julia Gillard’s with Wellcome in the UK.

    NDIS, NBN, Snowy II, the Renewables mess and more — all are derivative Cloward-Piven political strategies for creating a bureaucratic and fiscal crisis. Hard-core anti-American socialist/liberals Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven set this ball rolling in 1966: overload the welfare system with increasing welfare claims, and create unsustainable debt to ultimately force the creation of a guaranteed minimum income for all.

    Sound familiar? The psy-op Climate and Pandemic narratives have demonstrably required the abandonment of all reason and morality, leap-frogging last-gasp sovereign Western nations into even more dystopian ways of smashing their economies. Australia is already a visibly high unemployment, high immigration, vaxxed, invalid society at the mercy of not just Big Weaponised Government but Big Weaponised Everything, and globalist accessory to the destructive use of both AI and the intended forced use of programmable Central Bank Digital Currencies.

    All it takes is the next manufactured “global/national crisis” for the Black Swan event we-have-already-been-stitched-up-to-have. At the very least, keep using cash, avoid credit, prep and keep saying no thank you — or more, if you can.

    1. “NDIS, NBN, Snowy II, the Renewables mess and more — all are derivative Cloward-Piven political strategies […]”

      Not only that, with Anthony “I have a plan” Albanese in the driver’s seat, they are clown-driven.

      1. No, Morrie, everyone outside the group of criminal trillionaires referenced in my opening sentence drive the plan, not Albanese. All humanity is their target. Old rules governing warfare have been scrapped for UN/WEF/Stakeholders’ preferred rules because of their CCP style of enforcement. We are already in World War III, AKA Fifth Generation or Asymmetrical warfare, to the bitter end. National governments/ leaders are mere facade.

        1. Correction: sorry, Morrie. Should just read: “The group of criminal trillionaires within the non-elected globalist infrastructure referenced … “

  2. Firstly Bill Shorten and Tanya Plibersek created the Centrelink managed debt collection system that became known as Robodebt, they released a media announcement in June 2011. The Rudd Labor final Budget was for 2013/14 financial year and included NDIS for the first time.

    The Abbott Liberal-National-LNP Government took it over in September 2013 and the independent audit discovered that a number of expensive budget commitments were unfunded, no provision to pay for them arranged by Labor. When Abbott Government Treasurer Joe Hockey announced that money had to be borrowed to fund these items Labor tried to accuse the Abbott Government of breaking election promises about getting rid of debt and deficit.

    The Coalition did later introduce changes supported by the Labor Opposition to try and improve Robodebt and later decided it had to be stopped, as it was. Since Albanese Labor have established a Royal Commission into Robodebt attempting to pass all the blame onto the Coalition.

    NDIS is an even worse by far Labor established financial and administrative disaster and the Coalition had said so a number of times and that fixing NDIS was a minefield of problems between Federal and States and NDIS Agreements. To begin to repair the damage requires Federal-State cooperation.

    What has Bill Shorten done during the past two years and almost one month in government?

  3. NDIS – Unfunded scheme devised by outgoing PM Gillard in her last days in office (like throwing a live grenade to the incoming Liberal govt). Now Labor reaping what they sewed. Unfortunatley scheme being rorted and misused for easy profits. One term of Labor should have resolved any past issues, but no – just made worse.

    1. Compare it with NBNCo national broadband Rudd-Gillard Union Labor governments bait to catch votes, including the false promise of faster internet without saying that would be for customers willing to pay for a faster plan.

      Started as $4 billion and became $40 billion, and when Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull took over in the Abbott Government from September 2013 discovered NBN was already costing more than assessed market value at the time and heading if unchecked towards costing closer to $100 billion.

      How can voters trust Labor?

  4. Just off topic, sorry. Your website has a lot of trouble opening. Usually it times out which is a real shame because I share your articles on other websites. Also the thumb nail doesn’t show up once it does work and only a big POLITICO shows. Very frustrating as you have great and informative articles to share.

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