It’s about empathy

Its about empathy

The NDIS isn’t about tax hikes, levies or shopping. It isn’t about political debates, or the methods of how it happens. It isn’t about the politicians involved, nor about personal agendas. It isn’t about CEO’s or their profit margins.

It isn’t even about Myer, or the PR and social media case study they are creating as I type with their thoughtless comments and actions.

It’s about empathy.

It’s about understanding that a life changing disability can happen to you at any time. Maybe a car accident, maybe a violent attack, maybe giving birth to a child with a genetic disorder, or one who contracts a life altering illness. You might not have one now, you might not know anyone with one, but it could happen. At any time.

Empathy is being able to put yourself in their shoes and understand how hard that would be. How incredibly gut wrenchingly exhausting and debilitating. How when you start looking into what support is out there, your heart breaks as you find nothing.

I can’t comment on the cost of a wheelchair, but I know it costs a stupid amount of money. I am not a position to comment on physical disabilities, or acquired injuries, but I can’t even imagine the toll, both mentally and financial they would bring.

But I can tell you from first hand experience that occupational therapists, speech pathologists, psychologists, specialist doctors, aides (both physical and teacher types) and carers are expensive. Fucking expensive.

I can tell you how hard it is to know that a therapy that you need for your child, you may not be able to afford. To know that you need to scale back, because there is no help. To know that they didn’t choose this, you didn’t choose this, you just want the most support to help them be the best member of society they can be.

That’s the thing, common sense, common decency suggests the more support we give members of our community with disabilities, the more they can participate.  The less likely they are to be relying on disability support pensions and charity. The less likely we are to see them living on the streets, or below the poverty line. The more likely they are to become wage earner and tax payers themselves.

Who knows, they, or their families might even have more slightly disposable income to spend to keep our economy ticking over, instead of spending every single cent on therapy and basic supports.

But somehow I don’t think anyone will be going out of their way to shop at Myer.

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  1. People are really narrow minded aren’t they?! There is so much scare mongering about increased costs blah blah and everyone fails to look at the human element. Why can’t people see what you’ve so articulately put? That increasing support to people who need it most is only going to benefit everyone!?

    Ggaahh, I hate how many stupid people run the country and the media. Thank gawd for people like bloggers who actually point out the logical arguments.

    Have had my head in the sand for a few days so completely missed the Myer stuff but just had a little look. Wow, what a dumb arse thing to say. DJs has always had my dollar anyway 😉

  2. I think one big problem – apart from narrowmindedness and ‘me first’ attitude – is that the scheme is too often referred to as a ‘levy’ or a tax. It’s an INSURANCE scheme, in the sense that people who can give – proportionally to their income – contribute to what is needed in society. And receive when they, if they neeed it too. Why is that so hard for people to understand and accept ??
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  3. Michelle says:

    Well said. And well done on only one swear word, don’t think I would have managed to do it with less than 20!!!

  4. Darryn says:

    Kate, yes people are narrow minded.

    Consider it this way. With income being finiteJulia’s .5% increase to the Medicare levy can only come from a families discretionary spending. That is the money they have left are paying all the “must dos” such as rent, car insurance, house, insurance, contents insurance, health insurance, income protection insurance, school fees, water bills, gas bills, rent, flood levy. Do I need to continue?

    Then remember that a levy doesn’t increase the size of the economy it just redistributes. The best part of the NDIS is it requires administration hence a % of every $ collected will go into “Management” fees.

    Now consider one of the primary reasons we as parents try to increase our income is to improve the lives of our children and future generations. So where does the money to do this come from, our discretionary spending, what is left after al the bills of life are paid. The piece of income Julia’s levy decreases.

    Australia and Australians are also very giving and charitable, every natural disaster and appeal will demonstrate this. The greatest issue most if us had with Julia’s flood levy was the compulsory nature. There is a big difference between giving willingly and being forced.

    Put all this together and it is another way in which Julia creates division in the community. by Lessening a families ability to provide for their children so “administrators” (BTW my corporate employer is lobbying to run the NDIS) can charge significant fees to redistribute finite funds doesn’t lead to better outcomes for anyone, especially those in our community at most need.

    Apologies for providing a differing view on the matter, I hope this creates more discussion.

    • The best part of the NDIS is it requires administration? And here I was thinking the best part of the NDIS was that it would go some of the way towards supporting people with disabilities.
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    • Thanks for taking the time to comment Darryn – I really appreciate it – and for sharing a differing view! I love a bit of conversation!

      For me, I guess the way I look at it is that the small .5% that families will contribute (and most won’t feel), will make a huge, huge difference to many people. And those people, in turn will be able to be more productive and contribute to society through working. Or at the very least not have to spend every single cent on therapies.

      I would have loved to have seen this scheme go in fully funded, with no further cost, however at the end of the day I am just happy it’s going in.
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