The Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS) will be reinstated for those now on the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) by the Queensland Government.
The move is in response to complaints from NDIS participants that their NDIS package does not sufficiently provide for their transport needs.
A national working group has been established to look into the TSS issue.
“The Palaszczuk Government had committed to roll in funding equivalent to the TSS for those participants – on the basis that they would get equivalent support through the NDIS,” Disability Services Minister, Coralee O’Rourke said.
“I have written and spoken to Commonwealth Minister for Social Services Christian Porter on a number of occasions. Minister Porter has acknowledged these concerns and a national working group has been established to work this out.
“While work continues at a national level, Queenslanders should not have to wait.”
Commonwealth Services Minister, Christian Porter, said instead of handing money over to the NDIA (which manages the NDIS), “the Queensland Government has decided, and put to the Commonwealth, that the Department of Transport and Main Roads should continue to administer TSS for NDIS participants, at least for the next 2 years”.
“This will mean the funds are treated as an in-kind contribution to the NDIS. This will be cost neutral to Queensland, but most importantly it will mean Queenslanders going into the NDIS don’t lose their TSS, and don’t have to worry about getting to their appointments, to visit their families and to get around the community or to their jobs,” Mr Bailey said.
TSS members receive a $25 per trip co-contribution from the Queensland Government. Of the 53,800 TSS members, it is estimated that 10,600 will be NDIS participants. At the end of the first year, 1146 TSS members have transitioned, and up to another 1700 may transition in 2017-18. 7,700 TSS members are due to enter the NDIS in 2018-19.
This equates to around $2.4 million in 2017-18, and $6.6 million in 2018-19 worth of taxis subsidies for people with disability. People whose TSS membership ceased on entry into the NDIS can apply to have their membership reinstated.