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What's the immediate future for disability care?

Politics is about making decisions - what's critical is understanding why some choices are being preferred over others.

Charles III and Anthony Albanese: two blokes who grew up in public housing sharing a laugh

During the election campaign Anthony Albanese liked to tell the story about how he was raised by a single mother - a disability pensioner - living in public housing. He doesn't, however, continue on to talk about how his university study was free or that, since then, his entire career has revolved around working for Labor.

And that - according to RedBridge Group polling director Simon Welsh - risks becoming a critical problem for the government.

What made Albanese's origin story so powerful was that it was genuine and authentic. It stuck in people's minds. What makes it so dangerous today is that ordinary voters, especially those who believed his narrative of 'council house boy made good', are wondering if they've been misled.

"It's the contrast between spending on subs, but saying we can’t afford to raise the rate; cutting the NDIS, but we’re spending money on stadiums or stage three tax cuts", Welsh told Sky News' Laura Jaye.

"These contrasts are defining the electoral landscape. I wouldn’t want to be a sitting Labor MP in a Labor Greens contest at this point."

Nothing focuses the attention of ordinary voters like their hip pocket. Disability Minister Bill Shorten's message that the NDIS spending needs to be reined-in risks being undercut by this contrast between Albanese's life today and the well-known story of his past.

Noting that there is a massive amount of support for spending on disability, Welsh added that "this is really starting to create a problem for the Albanese government on their left flank".

"There is a huge amount of passion to fix the NDIS but this does not mean cutting or gutting it."

"People in focus groups talk about NDIS in the same breath as Medicare. It’s at that level. It’s a really defining feature of the country, they’re aware it’s a unique and Australian thing and they’re proud of it."

Welsh warns that tampering with the scheme could become very dangerous politically for Labor, particularly because of inevitable contrasts with massive dollops of money being allocated to other programs (like spending on future submarines) and the stage-three tax cuts for wealthy Australians.

Welsh says this is a story about sombody who's forgotten where they came from.

"What we’re hearing [from the focus groups] is that this guy should know better. This is a guy who came up the hard way, came up through social housing. We buy that story, we believe that story. But now he’s not doing anything to help people that are like him."

"We tend to view people that we view as betraying their group," Welsh says. Ominously, however, he also added that this means "we deal with them far more harshly than we do with people who we don’t expect anything of."

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