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Opposition reveals health and family budget horrors



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JOINT PRESS RELEASE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH, MICHAEL LEESHADOW MINISTER FOR AGED, FAMILYAND COMMUNITY SERVICES, JENNY MACKLIN

OPPOSITION REVEALS HEALTH AND FAMILY BUDGET HORRORS

Australians face another round of obnoxious Budget cuts to Health and Childcare services according to Shadow Health Minister Michael Lee, and Shadow Aged, Family and Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin.

Documents obtained by the Opposition reveal the Government plans to slash another $1.3 billion from Health and Child Care spending and force middle-income earners into private health insurance.

The documents reveal that:

• the Department of Health and Family Services is to be required to find savings of $1.365 billion over four years;

• the Government plans to increase childcare fees by another $20 a week providing the Howard Government with a further $400 million from a sector already hard-hit last year;

• frail Australians in nursing homes will not only pay upfront fees and increased charges for care but will now be denied a rebate for health care products such as incontinence pads;

• pharmaceutical products will be more expensive, hurting the sick and forcing families to pay even more for medicines, providing the Howard Government with $800 million dollars; and

• the Government now intends to lower the Medicare income limits forcing middle-income earners to pay the tax fine too unless they take out private health insurance.

We call on Dr Wooldridge to rule out today, these outrageous cutbacks.

6 March 1997

Contact: Michael Lee 06 277 4221 Parliament House

Jenny Macklin 06 277 2035 Parliament House