The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

28 May 2013

Liberals refuse to back important DisabilityCare funding

Joint media release with
the Hon Jenny Macklin MP
Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
Minister for Disability Reform, and
the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP
Minister for Health

Despite promising to back savings measures that fund DisabilityCare Australia, the Opposition Leader has instructed his party room to vote against legislation that would've provided around $1.3 billion towards DisabilityCare over the next decade.

Mr Abbott directed his MPs to vote against legislation to remove the rebate on the Private Health Insurance Lifetime Health Cover.

If the Coalition had their way, the PHI rebate would continue to be paid on the penalties premium holders incur by waiting to sign up to PHI after they turn 30. Paying 30% of this penalty is like a 30% government subsidy for parking tickets or speeding fines.

To the coalition, it's clear that giving more than a billion dollars of taxpayers' money to the health insurance industry, which has never had higher numbers of members or higher profits. This is more important than providing funding for DisabilityCare.

Mr Abbott has broken his word on supporting saves that fund DisabilityCare.

If Mr Abbott was serious about supporting DisabilityCare, then he must support the measures the government is putting in place to fund it.

This was a test for Mr Abbott and he has failed.

Australians will be very disappointed that Mr Abbott's actions on DisabilityCare don't match his words.