January 28, 2016

The article in today’s The Australian regarding the cost of the National Disability Insurance scheme is ignorant and ill-informed.

The Turnbull Government is misleading the Australian people by suggesting the Government can’t afford the cost of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. It is a disgraceful attempt to undermine the scheme and increase uncertainty over its future.


In the 2013-14 Budget, the Labor Government clearly identified how the NDIS would be funded for ten years.


This included a 0.5 per cent increase in the Medicare Levy. The Medicare Levy was always intended to cover some – not all – of the cost of the NDIS.


That’s why Labor made responsible Budget choices to help fund the NDIS – including means testing the Private Health Insurance Rebate, reforming retirement incomes and other long-term, structural savings. Once the scheme is fully rolled out, State and Territory Governments will fund nearly half of the cost of the scheme.


The National Disability Insurance Scheme is already transforming the lives of thousands of Australians with disability. This is the biggest social reform since Medicare and it is being delivered on time and within the budget.


The NDIS is also an investment in our economic future. The Productivity Commission found it would boost our GDP by billions of dollars a year and create more jobs.


The Government can pay for its share of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The last Labor Government made sure of it.


To suggest otherwise is cynical and dishonest. The Turnbull Government is trying to use people with disability as cover for another round of unfair budget cuts.


People with disability, their families and carers have waited their whole lives for the NDIS. For the Government to continue to throw so much uncertainty and misinformation over the future of the scheme is unforgivable.


The Turnbull Government should stop lying about the NDIS, stop using people with disability as a political football, and stop trying to divide Australians.




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