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GST: a nightmare for people with disabilities.

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Federal Member for Jagajaga

Shadow Minister for Social Security, the Aged and Family Services




The truth about the unfair impact of the GST on disabled Australians was revealed when John Mo xon from the Physical Disability Council of Australia exposed the nightmare that the new tax would create, Shadow Minister for Social Security, Jenny Macklin, said today.


People with disabilities will be hit twice by a GST - once at the checkout counter for food and clothing, and again when they have to pay for their personal service needs, Ms Macklin said.


The Government’s tax package fails to mention disability services in the list of services which are GST-free.


There are 1.5 million Australians with disabilities who need personal assistance or supervision with activities of daily living (self-care, mobility, or verbal communication).


These people will be forced to pay more for all of their personal assistance needs as currently no tax applies to these goods and services.


Assistance with getting around the house, to the shops, to work, and to have a holiday will all cost more under the GST.


Items like surgical boots and braces, guide dogs, braille machines and talking books, home modification, teletext services, hydrotherapy, and medi-alert services which are currently tax-free will cost more.


How can the Coalition expect disability pensioners to believe that a one-off increase in the pension of $6.50 a week will cover the extra costs of all of these items forever?


If the Coalition is elected, the cost of disability will go through the roof.


This will set back ten years the opportunities that are available to people with a disability, and their participation in the Australian community.


Further information

Jenny Macklin 0419 593 622

Leith Greenslade 026 277 2037