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Labor continues the fight to protect children's dental from Turnbull cuts



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CATHERINE KING MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE MEMBER FOR BALLARAT

LABOR CONTINUES THE FIGHT TO PROTECT CHILDREN’S DENTAL FROM TURNBULL CUTS

Labor is once again fighting against the Turnbull Government’s plans to cut funding from children’s dental, giving notice that we will move to disallow the Government’s planned cuts to the Children Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS).

Malcolm Turnbull has done nothing but attack established schemes to improve Australia’s oral health.

The Govermnment originally planned to abolish the Scheme completely, only backflipping after Labor fought to have the cut removed from their Omnibus legislation last year. But in another blow to the oral health of our children, he now wants to cut from every child accessing the scheme.

On New Year’s Day, the Government cut the cap on CDBS benefits from $1,000 over two years to $700. That’s a cut of up to $300 a child - or $600 for a family with two kids. Late last year, the former Health Minister admitted that the new cap would hurt more than 1 in 4 children who use the Scheme, leaving a quarter of a million children worse off.

The CDBS is tightly targeted to helping families who need help accessing dental services the most - leaving those children who can afford it least, the worst hit from this cut.

At the same time, the Government is cutting funding for adult public dental services, meaning that disadvantaged and vulnerable Australians will lose access to life-changing dental care and waiting lists will grow.

Labor has moved today’s motion because we know that we simply can’t take a backwards step when it comes to the oral health of our children. And we will continue the fight to protect adult public dental services from Malcolm Turnbull’s plans to push disadvantaged and vulnerable Australians onto growing waiting lists.

Labor will not stand by while the Government cuts these proven programs and forces Australians onto long dental waiting lists.

TUESDAY, 7 FEBRUARY 2017

MEDIA CONTACT: JOANNE CLEARY 0428 816 751