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The Australian Government has announced that the $14 billion National disability insurance scheme (NDIS) will be funded in part by a special Medicare-style levy set at 0.5 per cent. The new tax will help the Government to raise $3.5 billion a year for the scheme, which will help to improve the lives of over 2 million Australians living with a disability.
This includes Indigenous Australians, who are known to have a significantly higher rate of disability compared to other Australians. In the 2011 census, 6.1% of Indigenous males reported a severe or profound disability compared with 4.5% of non-Indigenous males and 5.4% of Indigenous females reported a profound or severe disability compared with 5.2% of non-Indigenous females.
The announcement of the secure funding arrangement for the scheme is welcome news for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians with a disability and their families.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald, Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs