I would like to personally thank each and every person who participated in the National Disability Insurance campaign. This campaign was fundamentally important for the future of the NDIS in Australia and I was proud to have been a part of it.
The Gillard Labor Government announced in the 2013/14 budget that they would create and fully fund DisabilityCare Australia, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, transforming disability services throughout Australia.
These historic reforms provided certainty and security for 410,000 Australians with a disability, their families and carers and ensure they are provided with the care and support they need throughout their lifetime.
This was the most fundamental social policy reform since the introduction of Medicare, and one I have been very passionate about. We were committed to building a better life for Australians with a significant and permanent disability.
The Labor Government announced a strong and stable funding stream set out in the recent budget to ensure the generations to come would have benefited from DisabilityCare Australia. They committed to increasing the Medicare Levy by half a percentage point from 1 July 2014, taking the Levy from 1.5 per cent of taxable income to 2 per cent.
This meant for the average Australian earning $70,000 a year, the increase will be a modest 96 cents per day – a small price to pay for peace of mind for so many families doing it tough.
Despite this, Australians would still benefit from the Government’s three rounds of tax cuts and the tripling of the tax free threshold, with the average Australian still paying over $900 less income tax per year than they were in 2007.
This reform was introduced to improve quality of life for Australians with disability, and ensure people with significant and permanent disability, their families and carers get the care and support they need over their lifetimes.
It is my intention to monitor the Abbott Government and hold them accountable for maintaining this vital program for people with a disability, their families and carers.