DOORSTOP - PARLIAMENT HOUSE - 29 MAY 2017

May 29, 2017


SUBJECT/S: National Disability Insurance Scheme 

JENNY MACKLIN, SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAMILIES & PAYMENTS: I want to speak directly to people with disability. I want to say very clearly that Labor is absolutely committed to the full roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Labor created the National Disability Insurance Scheme with people with disability. We created it, we fully funded it and we will fully fund it in to the future.

I also want to say that I thought the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt’s performance on national television yesterday was an absolute disgrace. It is a disgrace for Ministers of this Government to go out there and frighten people with disability, to suggest that the National Disability Insurance Scheme is not secure. The National Disability Insurance Scheme is secure under Labor. We fully funded it and we will fully fund it in to the future.

I am also very concerned to see reports in The Australian today that the Minister for Social Services Christian Porter is admitting to delays in the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The Government needs to take full responsibility for these delays. These delays are the direct result of this Government making a complete mess of the roll out of the ICT system that has led to these terrible delays in the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

We see many, many problems emerging in the National Disability Insurance Scheme and a lot of them can be sheeted home to the very poor implementation of the IT system.

Many people with disability are complaining about the way in which their plans are being done over the phone, many mistakes are being made because people are not seeing their plans before they are implemented. So I call on the Government to fix the problems with the IT system, stop the plans being done over the phone and make sure that people with disability get the care and support they need. That is the promise of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

JOURNALIST: The Government’s says that the funding model it is putting forward is simply Labor’s original proposal. Is this something that Labor should just be getting behind and locking in now?

MACKLIN: Well there are two different tax proposals in front of the Australian people at the moment. The Government wants to tax low and middle income Australians, someone on $55,000 a year for example would be paying more than $200 a year extra in tax, that’s under the Government’s proposal. At the same time, the Government wants to give a millionaire a $16,000 a year tax cut, that’s the Government’s proposal. What the Labor Party wants to do is much fairer. We want to increase the Medicare Levy on people above $87,000 and keep the Deficit Levy on those income earners earning more than $180,000. The important thing to remember is that Labor’s proposal will raise $4.5 billion extra, extra, over and above that which the Government’s tax changes will raise. Of course Labor too, is not going to give a $65 billion hand out to the top end of town, to big business. So Labor has a much fairer approach when it comes to tax, and Labor is fully committed to the roll out and delivery of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

JOURNALIST: On Adani quickly. Are there divisions in Labor on revising their position?

MACKLIN: No. Labor has made it absolutely clear that we don’t believe in public money being spent on Adani. It needs to stack up economically and environmentally.

JOURNALIST: [Inaudible] politicians are coming out, with or without public spending?

MACKLIN: Well I just made clear our position.