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Thursday, 17 February 2011

Levy may fund '$11bn disability plan' : Shadow Minister

Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities Jan McLucas said although the government would not make any commitments about the model of support it would endorse, it looked forward to the Productivity Commission's findings.

Julia Gillard will face another politically difficult decision with the commission expected to recommend this month that the government investigate a levy to fund a universal disability insurance scheme.

One option to fill the $5bn funding gap through a levy would be to add 0.8 of a percentage point to taxpayers' existing 1.5 per cent Medicare levy.

Senator McLucas

"I think it's a valuable exercise that we think about how people with disabilities get appropriate services and that's why we've asked the Productivity Commission to conduct this inquiry," she said.

Despite the Coalition's push against all new levies and taxes, Coalition spokesman for disabilities Mitch Fifield said Labor had been slow to act on disability support.

"Successive state and federal governments have failed Australians with disability," Senator Fifield said.

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