PM `threat to scheme'

THE federal government has criticised Tasmania for using the National Disability Insurance Scheme as a "tool to score political points" after Premier Lara Giddings warned Prime Minister Tony Abbott was a threat to the scheme.

Ms Giddings said yesterday she was concerned about "the conservative governments around the country, particularly Tony Abbott, who have been making noises that they will not go ahead with the scheme."

"Tony Abbott has been at pains to emphasise that the NDIS is only a trial, sparking fears he is preparing to privatise or even axe the scheme," she said.

Ms Giddings also took aim at state Opposition Leader Will Hodgman, saying he was "too weak" to stand up to the federal government in defence of the scheme.

Federal assistant Social Services Minister Mitch Fifield said Ms Giddings's comments were "deeply disappointing" and a "great disservice to people with disability".

"The implementation of the NDIS is a key priority of the Abbott government," Mr Fifield said.

"It will be the Coalition, not Labor, who deliver the NDIS for Australians with disability.

"The ALP must immediately cease their partisan scare- mongering. People with disability deserve better."

Tasmanian opposition disability spokeswoman Jacqui Petrusma accused Ms Giddings of running a "hysterical scare campaign".

Ms Petrusma said the opposition had promised a further $2million to disability service providers to prepare for the NDIS roll-out, which had not been matched by government.


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