NDIS priority of welfare budget: Morrison

Treasurer Scott Morrison says the NDIS should be the highest priority of the welfare system. (AAP)

Treasurer Scott Morrison says the NDIS should be the highest priority of the welfare system, but other spending needs to be controlled to pay for it.

Treasurer Scott Morrison remains committed to the national disability insurance scheme but warns spending across the welfare system needs to be controlled to pay for it.

"The NDIS should be the first dollar we spend in social services," he told Melbourne's 3AW radio on Tuesday.

The 0.5 per cent increase in the Medicare levy was not going to pay for it amid estimates of an initial shortfall of about $5 billion, blowing out by about $7.6 billion over 10 years for a total of $32 billion in 2023/24.

Opposition social services spokeswoman Jenny Macklin said the treasurer was misleading people by suggesting the government couldn't afford the scheme.

The increase in the Medicare levy was always only intended to cover some of the costs of the Labor-initiated scheme.

In government, Labor also introduced means testing the private health insurance rebate, reforming retirement incomes and other long-term structural savings to fund the scheme.

At the same time, she said suggesting the Commonwealth would cover all of the cost of the NDIS was "incredibly misleading".

"Once the scheme is fully rolled out, state and territory governments will fund nearly half of the cost of the scheme," Ms Macklin said in a statement.

Source AAP

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