Transcript - Sky News on the Hour










KIERAN GILBERT: Brooke thanks very much I’m joined by the former Treasurer Wayne Swan he’s live in Brisbane. Mr Swan thanks for your time I want to ask you about this story in The Australian today about the $5 billion funding for the NDIS dwindling. For the first question; straight out, did your government, did you as Treasurer provide sufficient funding to the NDIS when you announced it?

WAYNE SWAN: Too right we did. Fully funded and the really disappointing thing now is that it's on time and on budget but the Liberals are still out there trying to tear it down. All these big building blocks of social improvement: NDIS, national superannuation, Medicare, the Liberal party just keeps trying to tear them down and that's what we’re seeing again in the newspapers today. The NDIS in the 13-14 budget was fully funded and it set out very clearly the increase in the Medicare levy, other structural funding changes across other programs to ensure that over a ten years period the NDIS was fully funded. It's been very successful but just seen this constant range of stories gnawing away at the NDIS now to try to sack the Board of the NDIS:

GILBERT: But beyond that ten years, the forward cost from the ten years needs to be accounted for doesn’t it?

SWAN: Well, let’s just deal with the ten years they’re trying to tear it down now we’re barley even up to half way through. This is a Liberal Party hostility to the social safety net expressing itself, now in disability they try to tread warily because they know there is strong public support. But they’re still out there gnawing away trying to create the impression that it is not sustainable it is absolutely sustainable because it is also saving money, saving State Governments money and saving ultimately Federal Government money because it’s an agenda about productivity, as recommended many years ago by the Productivity Commission. This is Liberal Party ideology at work not finance.

GILBERT: But Mr Swan you say they want to tear it down but they say they support it. Christian Porter just yesterday said they support it and they’ll find appropriate savings to accommodate the costs there’s no one saying they’re going to back track on the NDIS.

SWAN: Well they are backtracking on the NDIS they’re trying to sack the board. All they’re doing is really is trying to wear away at this scheme. They don’t like it just like don’t really like Medicare, but in both cases they know there is strong public support so they put these stories out there regularly to say it’s not sustainable. This program is very successful it’s being monitored very closely - there is more data on this program than virtually any other in our history.

GILBERT: Mr Swan thank you very much for your time this morning we’ve got to wrap it up there.