PM welcomes NDIS support

Written By miftah nugraha on Kamis, 02 Mei 2013 | 19.55

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard will introduce legislation into Parliament soon for an increase in the Medicare levy to fund disability care.

Ms Gillard said her intention to introduce the 0.5 per cent increase followed a "change of mind" by Opposition leader Tony Abbott.

"I am very pleased that the Leader of the Opposition has said he is prepared to support this plan," she told reporters in Launceston today.

"He has changed his mind and I welcome that change of mind.

"I will bring to the Parliament the legislation to increase the levy by half a per cent.

Mr Abbott yesterday said the Prime Minister should bring the increase forward but did not guarantee Opposition support.

The increased levy will start from July 1, 2014.

Ms Gillard said many of the conditions cited by Mr Abbott had been dealt with in legislation which started up the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The Medicare levy increase to two per cent, from 1.5 per cent, will raise about $3.3 billion a year.

The scheme will cost about $8 billion a year or more when it begins full operation from 2018/19.

To make up the funding gap, Labor needs to make further budget savings and the states and territories will also need to contribute.

-- with AAP

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