Full roll-out in Tasmania of DisabilityCare announced
TASMANIA'S decision to agree to a full roll-out of DisabilityCare Australia came on arguably the most significant day in the scheme's short life.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard was in Launceston to announce that the island state, which will be home to one of four DisabilityCare pilots to launch around the country on July 1, had joined New South Wales, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory in signing up to the national disability insurance scheme.
It came as the Coalition offered to support Labor's plan to pay for the scheme in part through increasing the Medicare levy by 50 basis points.
The full roll-out in Tasmania is expected to be complete by July, 2019.
Under the agreement the Tasmanian Government will provide an estimated $232 million to cover all disabled people in Tasmania by 2019-20, by which time the Commonwealth will contribute around $245 million to the scheme for Tasmanians.
In addition, the Commonwealth will cover the full cost of people who turn 65 and choose to remain in the scheme.
The pilot scheme will be available to Tasmanians aged 15-24, with other eligible residents entering the scheme in 2016.
Ms Gillard said the government would continue working closely with remaining state and territory governments to reach agreement on the national roll out of scheme.
HOW IT WILL WORK
- Money raised from the increased Medicare levy will go straight to a DisabilityCare Australia Fund, which will be created by legislation, to be distributed to states and territories to spend only on the national disability insurance scheme.
- The Federal Government will make a share of the DisabilityCare fund available to states and territories, which will be equivalent to 25% of the money collected in 2014-15 (estimated to be $3.3 billion).
- Payments from the fund will help states meet growth costs as the scheme is expanded.
- The Federal Government will only draw down on the fund for net additional costs as it launches and transitions to the full running of the scheme.
- States yet to sign up to a full rill out of the scheme will have their funds quarantined until an agreement is reached.