The Royal Commission estimates that the economic costs of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people living with disability is $46 billion annually, with issues around systemic failure not being addressed.

To estimate the economic cost, the Commission report calculated the expenditure that would be avoided if violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation ceased. This figure is based on statistics available for the years 2021 to 2022.

‘Economic costs’ take into account:

  • Systemic failures and neglect ($27.7 billion) this includes failure by government, business and other systems to provide equal opportunity to participate in the economy and equal access to quality services. Costs include loss in labour force productivity and costs associated with lack of accessible housing, and
  • Interpersonal maltreatment perpetrated by individuals ($18.3 billion) costs include additional hospital stays due to maltreatment and reduced quality of life.

Other findings included:

  • 60 per cent of people living with disability experienced maltreatment perpetrated by an adult and 28 per cent of children with disability experienced significant child peer bullying and
  • The average cost of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation per person is double for First Nations people.

The report also states costs would likely be higher if more information was available and substantial savings could be made if governments and society are successful in addressing maltreatment, including issues of systemic failure and neglect.

There are 4.8 million people living with disability in Australia and half are over the age of 65.