Raising the BARR – Week ending 24 February 2017

Where Large Government Funding Goes – So Do the Shonksters

I have already been hearing alarming reports of the private corporates ripping millions and millions of dollars out of funding for Aged Care and Disability services, while leaving those in need without service. This has been allowed to happen because Governments have been getting out of the business of providing these services and allowing, instead, the private operators to do (pretend to do) the job. If I had a dollar for every time I heard a politician say “private operators do it better”, then I would indeed be a very rich man. Some private operators are very good and can and should be supported, but others, clearly are not.

Let me give you some examples of the worst operators out there, fully funded, operating today. Example A – private operator XYZ has a staff member that attends to elderly and frail people living in their own homes. The private operator XYZ is funded by the taxpayer through the Government. The staff member goes on holidays and so those poor elderly people normally on his/her route, in spite of the ridiculous and extreme heat, are left unbathed and uncared for, for 2 weeks, because operator XYZ does not replace the staff member while he/she is on leave. But XYZ still claim the service fee from Government.

Example B – operator VWX is paid, by the taxpayer, through the Government, to attend to a young person with a disability, living in Wollombi. Operator VWX has told the staff member that getting from Maitland to Wollombi will only take 40 mins each way (it actually takes 70+ mins) and if it takes longer than 40 mins, then just deduct that from the time that you spend onsite, helping the young person. As a result, the disabled young person only gets 1hr of actual hands on support, instead of the 2 hrs paid for and funded by the taxpayer.

These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Here is a prediction that you can take to the bank – in the coming months and years you will hear endless horrifying stories about how some immoral private entities are ripping off tens of millions of dollars, paid in taxes and levys by all of us, and rorted out of the system deliberately, knowingly and intentionally, by these greedy corporates, leaving our vulnerable citizens without the help that they need.

In NSW, despite the introduction of the NDIS, the Government have made the decision to eject itself from the business of providing disability services. This leaves every disabled person in NSW exposed to the corporates – some good and some appalling. The corporates have already indicated that they want to do the easy stuff and the things that are close to existing services (ie: towns and cities). They have shown that they don’t want to do the harder stuff like getting to people in regional/remote areas or people with high needs – not because those people don’t need the help, but simply because helping those people reduces the profit margin. Hello free-market and goodbye public service.