Tweed disabled welcome national insurance scheme
FUNDING for a national disability insurance scheme has been welcomed by Tweed residents with disabilities.
Richmond MP Justine Elliot said the plan was to transform disability services by creating and locking in funding for DisabilityCare Australia.
"It is the most fundamental social policy reform since Labor introduced Medicare," she said.
Phil Eaton from Tweed Heads was born with a disability.
"I cope very well, he said.
"But there are many others on the Tweed who need care and assistance.
"I think it's wonderful that the insurance scheme is finally materialising."
Mr Eaton said there was room for improvement in disability services.
"This funding is a winner for the disabled," he said.
"It's got to be a good thing."
Mrs Elliot said DisabilityCare requires a strong and stable funding stream to deliver certainty and security to the 2960 Australians with disability, their families and carers in Richmond.
The Government will increase the Medicare Levy by half a percentage point from July 1 in 2014.
This will take the Medicare Levy from 1.5 per cent of taxable income to 2 per cent.
For residents in Richmond earning around average wages of $70,000 a year, this will be a contribution of around 96 cents a day.
"That's about a dollar a day from the average Australian towards a better life for people with disability, their families and carers in our community," Mrs Elliot said.
"It will also provide peace of mind to all of us that if we or a loved one acquire a disability, we will be supported," said Justine.
Low income earners will continue to receive relief from the Medicare Levy through the low income thresholds for singles, families, seniors and pensioners.
The current exemptions from the Medicare levy will also remain in place, including for blind pensioners and sickness allowance recipients.
"This long overdue reform will improve quality of life for Australians with disability and ensure people with significant and permanent disability, their families and carers get the care and support they need over their lifetimes," Mrs Elliot said.