A missed opportunity

In Tuesday’s Budget, Treasurer Scott Morrison announced that funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) would be secured from 1 July 2019, but how does he plan on doing so? An increase to the Medicare Levy, that’s how.

From 1 July 2019, taxpayers who are subject to the Medicare Levy will pay 0.5 per cent more, with the Levy increasing to 2.5 per cent. For someone earning $80,000, this is an extra $400 per year in tax and those on $150,000 will pay $750 per year more.

For some this may increase their cost of living pressures, however, surely supporting those who are disadvantaged by and struggling with, a disability is something we can find it in our hearts, and wallets, to do?

And while this is good news, let us not gloss over the missed opportunity to boost the funding of the NDIS over the next two years. For the last two years, high-income earners have been paying an extra two per cent in income tax on earnings over $180,000 as a Temporary Budget Repair Levy. This measure ceases on 1 July this year, but with few people making any great fuss about paying such a levy, surely it would have made a hell of a lot of sense to continue it for at least the next two years?

This may have allowed the Government to exclude many low-income earners from the increased Medicare Levy, or indeed, stockpiled some additional funding for improving the services to be offered under the NDIS.

I have heard that, on his Prime Minister’s salary, Malcolm Turnbull will be $6500 better off once the Budget Repair Levy ends. Surely he and others who benefit to this tune can afford to forgo the extra cash?

What do you think? Should the Budget Repair Levy have been continued? Would it be preferable to exclude low-income earners from the increased Medicare Levy?