In The Media | 11 May 2017

‘I’m not saying no to Gary’: Treasurer reveals personal struggle behind NDIS budget decision

Scott Morrison has delivered one of the least conventional, and most effective, post budget sales pitches in memory – and ratcheted up the pressure on Bill Shorten in the process.

Budget week is governed by set plays and one of the more important is the speech the Treasurer delivers to the National Press Club the day after the night before.

Usually, it is more a slide show than a speech, with the Treasurer taking his audience through the more important tables and projections in the budget papers before taking questions from reporters.

Usually, it is one for the pointy heads in the room, not the mums and dads watching TV at home.

But not this time. ScoMo spent much of the first 15 minutes relating the story of his brother-in-law, Gary Warren, a former fireman who was in the audience, and his long battle with a very aggressive form of multiple sclerosis.

“It’s not flash being disabled,” Morrison recalled Warren saying, “but, if there is anything good about it, it’s that you’re disabled in Australia.”

What the story amounted to was a justification for the Coalition government increasing the Medicare levy by 0.5 percentage points to fully fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme. “I’m not saying no to Gary, and the 500,000 Australians counting on this,” the Treasurer declared.

Source: The Age