Medicare-style levy an option to fill 12 billion dollar deficit


A Medicare-style levy may be introduced to help fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

It’s one option Labor’s considering to cover a forecast $12-billion budget deficit.

Ashleigh Stevenson reports.

TRANSCRIPT

Yesterday, Prime Minister Gillard announced a big black hole in the budget.

Today, the government was searching for ways to fill it.

Finance Minister Penny Wong conceding one option, is a new levy.

Penny Wong, Finance Minister: “We’re considering a number of funding options and what I would say is obviously a levy is something stakeholders have been calling for.”

Experts estimate the National Disability Insurance Scheme will cost up to 15 billion dollars a year.

The Opposition says the proposed half a per cent tax increase would raise just 3.2 billion dollars.

Joe Hockey, Shadow Treasurer: “The levy only raises a fraction, a fraction of the cost of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.”

The government is for now keeping quiet on other revenue raising options.

But after the Prime Minister’s declaration that all options are on the table, Joe Hockey says expect more financial pain.

Joe Hockey, Shadow Treasurer: “That means increasing you know the taxes on the family home, it means death duties.”

Penny Wong, Finance Minister: ‚ÄúThat is not a reasonable option. The Prime Minister’s made clear you know we’re looking at reasonable options.”

All will be revealed, when the budget is delivered on May 14.

Ashleigh Stevenson, QUT News.