Thursday, 2nd May 2013


Tony Abbott announced this morning that the Coalition would be prepared to back a modest increase in the Medicare levy to fund the NDIS.

It was only yesterday morning that the Coalition was publicly opposing it, but a series of dramatic political manoeuvres yesterday shifted the ground.

When Julia Gillard put forward the government's proposal for the increased levy yesterday, she said the legislation would not be introduced until after the election. Tony Abbott then challenged her to bring it forward. Gillard immediately countered that she would do exactly this, if the Coalition supported it. Snooker.

Abbott's challenge may have been an attempt to avoid the NDIS becoming an election issue. Perhaps he saw the illogic of the Coalition's position, supporting the scheme but not the means to pay for it, opposing a levy while simultaneously touting a levy to pay for their paid maternity leave proposal.

Either way, the end result will be the likely passage of a major reform, with bipartisan support, in this parliamentary term. Politics is a funny game.

Nick Feik
Politicoz Editor

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Coalition Set To Back Rise In Medicare Levy To Help Pay For NDIS

"Tony Abbott says the Coalition is prepared to consider a hike in the Medicare levy to help fund the national disability insurance scheme, but says Julia Gillard must say how the rest of the scheme will be funded. The Opposition Leader said he wanted the levy to be voted on before the September election, thereby delivering a 'monument' to the current parliament."

Also: Alan Moir's view (cartoon, SMH)

It's All Win-Win

"While the implementation date, final cost, disability coverage and state and federal funding will remain uncertain, there is now a social and political inevitability to a disability insurance scheme."

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"As the population ages and the supply of workers for each non-worker shrinks, finding extra workers will become the main game in town ... Some things are worth doing precisely for the reason that they will boost Australia's economic performance. Whatever its other merits, the national disability insurance scheme is one of them."

More Budget Pain: $3bn Carbon Hole

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