Shorten getting ahead of himself

Bill Shorten goes all Che Guevara:

The Labor leader Bill Shorten has used a visit to London to give his British political counterparts some free advice, urging them to make disability reform the country’s next “revolutionary moment”.

While acknowledging the British healthcare system is superior in terms of the support offered to people with disabilities, Shorten nonetheless used a speech delivered in the Clement Attlee suite at Westminster to contend that more should be done.

He suggested statistics indicated people with disabilities in Britain still suffered from a lack of access, opportunity and equity.

“So tonight I encourage you to take up the cause of giving people with disability the right to an ordinary life – to make their fight for opportunity and equity your own – to make the design of a new, fairer system for people with disability Britain’s next revolutionary moment,” Shorten said.

If Labor’s track record in Australia is anything to go by, Shorten’s declaration of a disability reform as a ‘revolutionary moment’ is a bit premature to say the least. Labor’s signature reform from their last stint in government, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, doesn’t even come into full implementation until 2018/19 (ie close to the election after next aka the day after never) and right now has a very uncertain price tag. Given that the NDIS doesn’t even cover everyone eligible for the Disability Support Pension, to call the NDIS as Australia’s ‘revolutionary moment’ requires chutzpah that only a politician could have.


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