Aug 11, 2011

Disability insurance: a monumental day for all

Crikey media wrap: Disability funding in this country is to be overhauled, with a new national disability insurance scheme to offer blanket coverage for all Australians living with a disability.

Amber Jamieson — Freelance journalist in New York

Amber Jamieson

Freelance journalist in New York

Disability funding in this country is to be overhauled, with a new national disability insurance scheme to offer blanket coverage for all Australians living with a disability.


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18 thoughts on “Disability insurance: a monumental day for all

  1. Jimmy

    I keep saying when the ALP govt of the last 4 years is judged by the history writers of the future and the “Juliar” rants have long been forgotten it will be remembered for reforms like this one, paid parental leave, putting a price on Carbon, the NBN, Helath funding reforms, increased spending in education and navigating Australia through the GFC and all of these achievements will stack up favourably against any previous govt and there positive effects will be felt for years to come.

  2. Go for it!

    Hey JIMMY even though I aghree 100% with you go tell that story to the feral Murdoch press and the pathetic whingeing shock jocks like “I didnt do anything wrong in the London toilet” Alan Jones and the other Sydney media Gillard haters.

    Could I suggest that the baying mob in Sydney hate the fact that one of there own is not running the country ala Keating and Howard meaning Sydney dosent get the advantages that it had under those two very Sydney centric people..

  3. Peter Ormonde

    Can we send Abbott offshore (for processing perhaps) more often?
    An excellent thing.
    Now watch the states wriggle.

  4. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    Why is this an “insurance” scheme. Who pays the contributions?

    If it is just the government paying, why doesn’t the government just pay and make this like any other benefit?

    And Jimmy, whilst the carbon tax is a good step in the right direction, I very much doubt that Labor’s legacy on climate change will receive any praise from future generations.

  5. Jimmy

    MWH – “Who pays the contributions?” The “Contributions” will come out of your tax so I suppose if it made you feel any better they could rejig the marginal rates and then add back a “Disablity Insurance Levy” but the result would be the same. I envisage it will be a seperate body that will manage the funds and make the decisions on payouts.

    As for the carbon tax we have had this discussion before but the 5% target that is in place now to me is irrelevant, they have set up a mechanism that can easily be ratcheted up as opposed to the “direct action” alternative. As they say a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step so you can complain about the distance left or applaud that the journey has been started, I choose the later.

  6. Julie

    Yes Amber, and agree with you Jimmy, and what a triumph for John Walsh,(Australian weekend mag.6/8), who did all the number crunching to make the policy proposal hard to resist for the political and critical mass.
    Apparently the Whitlam Government had also proposed something similar for disability service with Medicare………so it’s unfinished business.
    And it is good to recognise the ongoing commitment and clarity of Bill Shorten on this issue.

    My main concern is that even though the Governments want us to be fit enough to get into the workforce – the workforce is not ready for us. I have a chronic mental illness but is managed quite well, however for me to work it requires flexibility and tolerance by co-workers that is not in the culture. Bullying and negativism is something i have a a lower threshold for than most.

    However, progress is being made, a momentous time for Australia….evolving.

  7. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    Why all this talk about insurance and funds, etc.

    Things like supporting the disabled today should be paid by the taxpayers of today. No need for a fund.

    An insurance scheme only makes sense when lots of people pay into a fund so that the unfortunate few who make claims have the money. And a fund for such a scheme is only needed because insurance is a business that needs to have a reserve to pay future beneficiaries (otherwise it would be a scam).

    I can’t agree with your carbon first step because I’ve yet to see any evidence that Labor intends to make the cuts in emissions which are really needed.

  8. galeg

    Here we go, another tax, as obviously the Fed Gov does not have the estimated $6 billion surplus floating around in the coffers.
    As the scheme is needed, I suggest that they will probably have to double the Medicare tax to pay for the scheme.

  9. Peter Ormonde

    Here we go … I’ve been waiting for the sloganisers to wind up … another tax grab by Juliar and her illegitimate government.

    Galeg, this set up needs to be ongoing … not just a one-off payment out of any available accumulated surplus. And besides, the best thing you can do with a surplus is spend it when you need to, or use it to pay off government debt if you can.

    If you simply build a new system into the existing tax base you make it structural… it reduces a government’s capacity to respond to changing economic circumstances. What is being considered is a hypothecated levy that totally funds a major social reform that benefits people who really need help… that is significantly different to a tax or a discretionary budget allocation each year.

    There are solid sensible conservative economic reasons for setting something up that is essentially self funded like medicare (it wouldn’t need anything like a doubling by the way… neither would extending medicare to cover dental care which we should have done 20 years ago as well).

    Even the opposition supports the idea – but of course Abbott is away so they are “leaderless” and have clearly succumbed to socialist scheming. Let’s hope Tony stays offshore for a few months and we might actually get something done.

    I wonder how far beyond the pale of Australian society you pale carbon copy “tea-partyers” want to go.

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