Christian Porter’s repeated lying about funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme reveals that the Turnbull Government has effectively stolen budget measures that were legislated to help fund the full scheme.
The claim that there is a $5 billion shortfall in NDIS funding, as the Minister says again today, assumes that Labor’s only new Budget measure to fund the NDIS was the Medicare Levy increase. This is a bald-faced lie and raises serious questions about what the Turnbull Government has done with the tens of billions of dollars that was budgeted for the NDIS in 2013.
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 over 10 years, including:
Private health insurance rebate reforms;
Changes to retirement incomes;
Changes to tax concessions for fringe benefits;
Changes to tobacco excise indexation;
Changes to import processing charges.
The Coalition voted for most of these measures in the Parliament, in the knowledge that they would help to fund the NDIS. So the question is: what has it done with this money?
To now say that these measures weren’t dedicated to funding the NDIS is to effectively steal money that was explicitly intended for people with disability.
Labor clearly set out a budgeted plan for the NDIS. If the Coalition no longer supports this funding plan, which it helped legislate, it needs to come clean.
To claim that Labor’s savings measures were “washed away” is a pathetic and non-credible excuse, particularly from a Government that has doubled the deficit and spent most of its own savings measures.
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.
People with disability, their families and carers have waited their whole lives for the NDIS. It is unforgiveable for the Turnbull Government to keep trying to mislead and frighten Australians about the future of the scheme.
SATURDAY, 9 APRIL 2016