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Hawke breaks another promise

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John Hewson Leader of the Opposition M e d i a R e l e a s e

214/91 September 4, 1991


Before the last election, at a Parliament House press conference, the Prime Minister said that there would be no increase in the Medicare levy in the next term of Government.

At the last election, the Prime Minister said: "I will tell you our policy in two words: 'Medicare stays'".

And the Minister for Health declared: "We've made it quite clear that the Medicare levy would remain at the present level".

Last week, the Prime Minister told the Australian public that an increase in the Medicare levy would hit low income earners harder than the Government's proposed $3-50 co-payment.

Today, asked three times whether he stood by his previous words and the Government's election promise, the Prime Minister refused to give a commitment.

All the recipients of the Government's pre-election "Mediscare" letters have been deceived - along with:

* All the children the Prime Minister said would not live in poverty by 1990.

* All the voters who believed the Prime Minister when he said that there would not be a recession.

* And anyone who believed the Prime Minister when he said in the last election that there was no deal to hand over the leadership to Paul Keating.

Everything that the Government accused the Opposition of planning is now coming true: the end of bulk-billing, the re-introduction of Medicare fees, an increase in the Medicare levy and the

establishment of a two-tier medical system.

Only it is this Government which is destroying Medicare.

No wonder the Prime Minister is worried - he is now vulnerable to a new Mediscare campaign orchestrated by the former Treasurer.

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