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Tuesday, 25 February 2014
Page: 763

Health Funding

Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:11): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to the Prime Minister's speech last night, where he flagged cuts to health spending. Why is the Prime Minister breaking his election promise that there would be no cuts to health spending?

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:11): I am pleased that the Leader of the Opposition is interested in the speech, because it was a good speech, and if he was to study it closely he would learn something. No such measures were proposed in the speech. The Leader of the Opposition should be honest with this parliament. What I did say was that over time, in the longer term, the rate of growth of expenditure has to be restrained. Of course, it has to be restrained. You know why? Because of the fiscal mess that members opposite left. Thanks to members opposite, over the next four years this country is facing prospective deficits totalling $123 billion. It is facing cumulative debt of $667 billion. That is the burden that members opposite have left on future generations of Australians. We will repair the budget, but we will do so in ways which are entirely consistent with our election commitments.