Scott Morrison is misleading the Australian people by suggesting the Government can’t afford the cost of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
In a speech last night, the novice Treasurer indicated he would make more savage cuts to Australia’s social safety net to pay for the NDIS.
But 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.
To suggest, as the Treasurer has, that the Commonwealth would cover all of the cost of the NDIS, is incredibly misleading. 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 should not use the NDIS as cover for another round of harsh cuts to vulnerable Australians.
The Turnbull Government should stop lying about the NDIS, stop using people with disability as a political football, and stop trying to divide Australians.
TUESDAY, 17 NOVEMBER 2015