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Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Page: 1182

Mr TUDGE (Aston) (13:54): I would like to express my deep concern about the government's proposals to cut the private health insurance rebate once again. This is a rebate which 70 per cent of constituents in my electorate currently hold. They do so so that they can have the surety of getting the doctor or surgeon of their choice and so that they can access tremendous hospitals, such as the Knox Private Hospital in my electorate. The government have already taken the axe to the private health insurance rebate once to date by means-testing it. That flows through onto every single person, not just the wealthy people. Now they are also planning on further reducing the rebate for people who do not sign up to it once they hit 30. This, according to the experts, suggests that some people will face a 26½ per cent increase in their private health insurance rebate. I am concerned that this will be another slug on everyday families which are already struggling with cost-of-living pressures.

Most importantly, as well, this is a further broken promise by this government. They explicitly said—Minister Roxon, who is here in the chamber, said this—in 2009 that they would not change the health insurance rebate; they would not touch it. They did that before the election and now it is another broken promise after the election. You cannot trust a single thing that this government say. (Time expired)