Bill's Media Releases

DISABILITYCARE VITAL FOR MELBOURNE’S WEST

The Federal Member for Maribyrnong, Bill Shorten, has welcomed the announcement on funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, saying it marks a significant milestone for people with a disability in Melbourne’s West.

“Labor is transforming disability services by creating and locking in funding for DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme,” Mr Shorten said.

“It is the most fundamental social policy reform since Labor introduced Medicare.

Mr Shorten said that the scheme will improve lives and outcomes for the 2,286 people living with a permanent disability in Maribyrnong and their families.

“As a former Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities, I am well aware of the millions of carers who live with the midnight anxiety, the question of who will care for their beloved adult children when they can no longer do so.

“For the last four-and-a-half years this government has made disability and people with a disability and their carers a national political issue.

“The fact that we have come so far so quickly is testament to our drive for reform, and to the support of every person who has advocated for this scheme – and there have been plenty.”

The Prime Minister this week announced that the Government will increase the 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.

For residents in the areas of Brimbank, Maribyrnong and Moonee Valley earning around average wages of $70,000 a year, this will be a modest contribution of around 96 cents a day.

Those on lower income will pay less.

“That’s about a dollar a day from the average Australian towards a better life for people with disability, their families and carers in our community,” Mr Shorten said.

“It will also provide peace of mind to all of us that if we or a loved one acquire a disability, we will be supported.

“Not only do we believe in bringing hundreds of thousands of people out of their second class status in Australia and trying to give them some power and some money, but we are also explaining how we will fund a sizeable proportion of it through this levy,” Mr Shorten said.

Low income earners will continue to receive relief from the Medicare Levy through the low income thresholds for singles, families, seniors and pensioners.  The current exemptions from the Medicare levy will also remain in place, including for blind pensioners and sickness allowance recipients.

Even after this change, Australians will still benefit from the Government’s three rounds of tax cuts and the tripling of the tax free threshold. For example:

  • Someone earning $30,000 a year will pay an extra 41 cents a day in Medicare levy, but still be paying $903 less income tax per year than they were in 2007;

  • Someone earning $70,000 a year will pay an extra 96 cents a day in Medicare levy, but still be paying $953 less income tax per year than they were in 2007;

  • Someone earning $110,000 a year will pay an extra $1.51 a day in Medicare levy, but still be paying $1903 less income tax per year than they were in 2007.


ENDS

Contact: Jayne Edwards 9326 1300 / 0410 455 737