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A fairer health system with no GST: restoring confidence in public hospitals.



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NEWS RELEASE

 

THE HON MICHAEL LEE MP

MEMBER FOR DOBELL

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH

 

A FAIRER HEALTH SYSTEM WITH NO GST

Restoring Confidence Public Hospitals

 

One of Mr Howard’s first acts on being elected in 1996 was to slash $800 million from public hosp ital funding. Since then, State Governments have been trying to get a better deal for their public hospitals in the new Medicare Agreements.

 

After almost a year of chaos the States finally gave up and signed the new agreements, even though several Liberal health ministers said that the funding would not meet the needs of their patients.

 

Labors Hospital Trust Fund

 

Labor believes this is not good enough.

 

While Labor will fully honour the new Medicare Agreements, they do not provide adequate funding for Australia’s public hospital system.

 

For this reason, Labor will set up a special trust fund to provide additional funding for our public hospitals.

 

The trust fund will provide an extra $500 million each year for public hospitals to treat more people, reduce waiting times and provide better facilities.

 

Monies for the Trust Fund

 

Revenue for the trust fund will be raised by increasing the Medicare Levy for high income earners and reforming tobacco taxes. All the extra revenue raised by these two reforms will go directly into the trust fund.

 

The Medicare Levy will increase by 0.2% for taxpayers earning more than $50,000 a year. The increase will be set at the rate of the former ‘gun levy’ and will begin at less than $2 a week.

 

Labor will also reform tobacco taxes from a system based on weight to a ‘per stick’ system. This will lead to an average price increase of 4% and no brand will be cheaper.

 

27 August 1998

Contact: Michael Lee  02 6277 4221 / 0417 277 477

 

 

KD