Prime Minister Kevin Rudd
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Gillard's policy milestones pass by as Rudd steps up as PM

THREE key policy milestones flew by as the new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd continued the clean-up after last week's leadership spill on Monday.

Among the achievements former PM Julia Gillard was unable to see out in the role were the one-year anniversary of the carbon tax and a 0.25% rise in employer superannuation contributions.

The third and possibly most lasting legacy of her prime ministership was DisabilityCare Australia, which officially began in key trial sites around the country yesterday.

For those with a disability and their carers; trial sites in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania opened for business on Monday.

It kicks off the national scheme, with the lessons learnt at the trial sites to be rolled out nationwide irrespective of whether the nation sees in Christmas with a Labor or a Coalition Government.

More than $14 billion has been allocated to the disability insurance scheme for the next seven years, with the target of helping 460,000 Australians get the help they need by 2019.

Under a 5% rise in the carbon tax - up $1.15 to $24.15 a tonne - people can expect to be paying marginally more on power bills - although that rise is dwarfed by the five year 70% increase due mainly to network costs.

At the one year anniversary of the tax, non-transport LNG and LPG fuels will now be covered, and the new opt-in scheme for liquid transport fuels has begun.

In superannuation, Ms Gillard and the former Superannuation Minister Bill Shorten could celebrate the start of a move from the long-standing 9% employer contributions to 12%.

While the rise in employer contributions will happen gradually, it began with an extra 0.25% rise to annual contribution from July 1 - bringing this financial year's employer contributions to 9.25% for 8.4 million Australians.

About 3.6 million Australians earning $37,000 or less will also receive a tax cut on superannuation contributions up to $5000 a year.

The upper age limit on universal super was abolished from July 1, meaning workers aged over 70 will receive the universal contribution for the first time.