CENTACARE Brisbane has welcomed the announcement of Federal Government plans to introduce a 0.5 per cent Medicare levy increase to help launch the long-awaited National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Executive director Peter Selwood said the NDIS would open doors to opportunities that were previously out reach for people with disabilities and help them lead a quality lifestyle of their own choice.
Mr Selwood said Centacare Brisbane each year provided critical support services to about 2000 people living with disabilities.
“The NDIS would play a key role in helping people with disabilities increase their independence and offer them the assurance of a more secure future,” he said.
Mr Selwood said the Government’s commitment to ensuring the long-term success of the scheme was a major step towards a better future for people living with significant or permanent disabilities.
“Whatever view individuals may take on the Federal Government’s decision to part-fund the scheme through a public tax, we must not forget the very important fact that the NDIS – once implemented – will be life-changing for those living with a disability …,” he said.
“While understandable that many people are reluctant to pay what they see as ‘yet another’ government tax hike, the resulting impact this could have on the life of someone living with a disability makes it seem a relatively small price to pay.”
Mr Selwood said Centacare Brisbane shared the NDIS’s core objective of taking a lifelong approach to providing care and support.
“Far too many of us take for granted the opportunities we are given in life,” he said.
“The additional funds generated through the Medicare levy increase will ensure those with a disability are allowed to grow and develop as equal members of the community and are able to take greater control of their future.”
Centacare Brisbane is the social services arm of the Catholic Church in Brisbane archdiocese.
Mr Selwood said the agency worked in partnership with various levels of government and the community.
The Government is negotiating to secure state commitments to funding that would help implement the NDIS.
At the time of going to press, the Queensland Government had not made a funding commitment.