Prime Minister Julia Gillard has confirmed a rise in the Medicare levy to fund part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The rise from 1.5 to 2 per cent is expected to raise 3.2 billion dollars for the scheme in its first year.

Jonathan Ayre reports.


They’ve been left behind for too long.

That’s the line the government uses to justify its tax increase to fund the NDIS.

The Prime Minister confirmed the Medicare levy will increase from 1.5 per cent to 2 per cent starting July first next year.

The government says the scheme is essential to help provide for society’s less fortunate.

Julia Gillard, Prime Minister: “For an average Australian of say seventy-thousand dollars per year, that they would be asked to contribute around a dollar a day in extra medicare levy to create disability care.”

The amount of extra tax Australians will pay depends on how much they earn.

A person on $50,000 a year will pay $250 more annually.

A person on $75,000 will have to pay $370, and people on $100,000 will pay $500.

The opposition was quick to attack the new levy, and says the government always lies about new taxes.

Joe Hockey, Opposition Treasury Spokesperson: “It is a complete backflip from Julia Gillard. I mean this is the height of hypocrisy. Just as she ruled out the carbon tax and then introduced one, she’s ruled out a levy and now she’s introducing one.”

State politicians were more supportive of the planned levy.

Campbell Newman, Premier: “I did support the levy last year, and I am going to support the Prime Minister today.”

However, disability groups maintain the funding isn’t coming fast enough.

Craig Wallace, People with Disabilities Australia: “Australians with disabilities are sick of waiting for this. We believe it needs to be done now. What a levy does is it shields this from the budget cycle, and the electoral cycle.”

The government says it will take using the levy to fund the NDIS to the people at the next election.

Jonathan Ayre, QUT News.