NDIS Levy Confirmed
30 April 2013 at 10:44 am
The Federal Government has confirmed it will increase the Medicare levy to cover the cost of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has confirmed that there will be an increase inthe Medicare Levy by half a percentage point from 1 July 2014 – this will take the Medicare Levy from 1.5 per cent of taxable income to 2 per cent.
Finance Minister Penny Wong had already flagged the funding option for the NDIS in recent media interviews.
"I'd acknowledge that a levy is something that stakeholders have raised," Wong told ABC radio.
The move comes after Prime Minister Gillard announced $12 billion budget hole.
The increase is set to add an additional $300 per year to the Medicare Levy.
"The key thing I need Australians to know is that for someone earning an average wage of around $70,000 a year, this will be a modest contribution of around 96 cents a day," Gillard said.
Craig Wallace from People with Disability Australia says he supports a levy and believes the broader community would too.
"Many Australians realise that disability is only one car accident or one stroke away from them and their families," he said.
"Although only providing for $3 billion of the estimated $8 billion a year required, this is a step in the right direction to safeguard NDIS funding for all Australians," Craig Wallace said.
PWDA also welcomes the announcement there will be no further changes to the disability support pension in the coming Budget.
"The government is wise not to link changes to DSP to the NDIS," Wallace said.
"Many people with disability are mired in long term unemployment because they lack precisely the kinds of supports that are now going to be funded under the NDIS. There isn't one solution and the sequencing is important.
"With more than 800,000 people with disability mired on DSP and more than 600,000 people with disability on the poverty line, the NDIS is an investment to shift some of that disadvantage.
"With NDIS supports, PricewaterhouseCoopers point to an increase in the employment participation by over 370,000 people with disability by 2050."