Legislation to pass a disability care levy will be brought before Parliament before the election after Tony Abbott all but supported the new tax.
The Opposition leader says he’s prepared to consider the rise but there are conditions.
Ashleigh Stevenson reports.
It’s rare to see Opposition Leader Tony Abbott agree with anything the Prime Minister has to say but today Julia Gillard welcomed his apparent change of heart.
Julia Gillard, Prime Minister: “I am very pleased that today the leader of the opposition has said that he is prepared to support this plan.”
Mr Abbott originally opposed the levy but now says he might support it on two conditions.
Tony Abbott, Opposition Leader: “It is important that the Prime Minister comes clean about all the details. How is this scheme going to be fully funded and who exactly will be covered.”
The levy will raise 3.3 billion dollars per year less than the estimated eight billion needed to fully fund the scheme.
Jenny Macklin, Disability Reform Minister: “The Medicare levy increase will pay for around sixty per cent so around forty per cent of the 5.4 billion will need to be found.”
But Ms Gillard says she’s already outlined where the money would come from.
Julia Gillard, Prime Minister: “What I’ve announced with the increase in the medicare levy would fully fund what we need to do in disability care over the next five years.”
Tasmania today became the fourth state to sign up to the full roll out of the national disability insurance scheme further strengthening the pressure on the opposition to support it.
Ashleigh Stevenson, QUT News.