Australian Politics – Good, No Tax Rises, But The NDIS Is Still A Tax-Guzzler

Posted on Thu 04/26/2018 by


By Andrew Bolt ~

Good that it won’t raise taxes, after all:

The Turnbull government has abandoned a plan to increase the Medicare levy by 0.5 percent to pay for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, saying improvements in the Australian economy mean the measure is no longer necessary.

But Labor, in fact, forced this change by opposing the hike for anyone under $87,000 a year, attacking the government for wanting to raise taxes on battlers while wanting to cut taxes for big business.

So the Government has dropped the whole thing, which also saves it from the shame of being a Liberal Government that raises taxes. This simplifies its Budget message – that it will cut taxes, rather than cut-taxes-but-raise-some.

Labor, though, today swiftly dropped what it now calls its “compromise” position – raising the levy on people on more than $87,000. So that’s one tax hike we are not getting, and good.

Now for the buts.

The Government now claims it can afford to pay for the NDIS by other means.

Really? For a start, the Government will in two weeks announce our 11th straight budget deficit. Nothing is fully funded when we’re so deep in the red.

Second, the NDIS is a $22 billion behemoth, when it will be fully operational. Already last year it is estimated to have created 50,000 jobs, including gardeners who will mow the laws of parents of autistic children. It is a money pit.

Then there’s the damage to the Government’s reputation. In the Budget it is tipped to promise cuts in personal taxes to be rolled out over a decade – over three elections.

That will be hard to believe when the Government now dumps a promise it made not one year ago, and so emotionally:

Scott Morrison has delivered one of the least conventional, and most effective, post budget sales pitches in memory – and ratcheted up the pressure on Bill Shorten in the process…

ScoMo spent much of the first 15 minutes relating the story of his brother-in-law, Gary Warren, a former fireman who was in the audience, and his long battle with a very aggressive form of multiple sclerosis.

“It’s not flash being disabled,” Morrison recalled Warren saying, “but, if there is anything good about it, it’s that you’re disabled in Australia.”

What the story amounted to was a justification for the Coalition government increasing the Medicare levy by 0.5 percentage points to fully fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme. “I’m not saying no to Gary, and the 500,000 Australians counting on this,” the Treasurer declared.

Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.

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