Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Liberals still divided on NDIS

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey has yet again shown just how hollow the Liberals’ supposed commitment to a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) really is.

Just days after he questioned whether or not Australians would be willing to pay to support people with disability, he continues to throw doubt on the Liberals’ commitment to an NDIS:

“…but at the end of the day the money has to come from somewhere and there is only one pot of money and that is the hard earned taxpayers’ money and that’s it.”
(Doorstop, 3 May 2012)

While Tony Abbott professes to be ‘Dr Yes’ on the NDIS, his Shadow Treasurer spends day after day attacking a scheme that will fundamentally reform disability care and support for the 410,000 Australians who have significant and permanent disability.

Mr Hockey’s continued contempt for this scheme shows all too clearly that the Liberals are hopelessly split when it comes to the NDIS.

While Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey work out which one of them is right, the Gillard Labor Government will fund our share of the first stage of a National Disability Insurance Scheme in next week’s Budget.

Around 20,000 people with significant and permanent disabilities will benefit from the first stage of an NDIS, which will start from the middle of 2013.
For the first time in Australia’s history, people with significant and permanent disability will receive lifetime care and support, regardless of how they acquired their disability.

Hundreds of thousands of Australians – people with disability, their families, carers and advocates – have waited long enough for something to change. They’ve said loud and clear that they want us to make the NDIS real, and this Labor Government has heard their call. It’s time Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and the Liberal Party started listening.