Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Hockey fails to support NDIS

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey has today revealed just how hollow Tony Abbott’s bi-partisan commitment to a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is.

Speaking just minutes after Prime Minister Julia Gillard committed this Labor Government to funding its share of the launch of an NDIS, Mr Hockey questioned whether Australians’ were willing to pay to support people with disability.

Mr Hockey said:

“Australians have to pay for it… It’s $8 billion a year… Are Australians prepared to pay that?”

Mr Hockey needs to explain to the more than 400,000 Australians with a significant and permanent disability, their families and their carers, why an Abbott Liberal Government would not see them as worth supporting.

His comments clearly undermine Mr Abbott’s stated support and reveal how hollow Mr Abbott’s commitment is.

Unlike the Liberals, the Gillard Labor Government recognises that the current system is not delivering the kind of care and support that we expect for people with a disability.

And unlike the Liberals, we are committed to delivering the fundamental reform needed to ensure people with significant and permanent disability receive lifetime care and support, regardless of how they acquired their disability.

Today the Prime Minister announced that a National Disability Insurance Scheme will start in Australia from July 2013 in up to four locations across the country.

The Gillard Government will fund our share of the cost of the initial stage of the NDIS in the May Budget.

The Gillard Government is getting on with ensuring this vital reform goes ahead.

Mr Hockey’s comments today show that people with disability, their families and their carers, can’t trust an Abbott Liberal Government to deliver this historic reform.