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Budget to break health promises?



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Thu, 7th May 2009

Budget to break health promises?

The Hon Peter Dutton MP Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing

The Rudd Government must clarify whether its numerous promises on healthcare will be kept or whether it intended to break them in next week’s Budget.

Pre-Budget speculation has indicated the Rudd Labor Government may trash firm promises it made to maintain various elements of the nation’s healthcare system before its election, Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton said today.

Mr Dutton said both the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Health Minister Nicola Roxon had pledged to retain the Medicare Safety Net and Private Health Insurance rebates, yet both now seemed to be in the government’s Budget firing line as it desperately cast around to pay for its reckless cash splashes.

“I remind Mr Rudd and Minister Roxon that their commitments to the Australian people were clear and unequivocal on both measures,” Mr Dutton said.

“They issued firm promises in Labor media releases and repeated those in various media interviews. Are they now prepared to break those pledges?”

“They need to clearly state to Australians whether their promises were worth more than the paper they were written on or just meaningless words to win votes,” Mr Dutton said.

Labor Media Release - Kevin Rudd and Nicola Roxon - 22 September 2007

“A Rudd Labor Government will retain the Medicare safety net as Australian working families have come to rely on it for help with their family budgets.

“Federal Labor will not put more pressure on family budgets by taking that assistance away.”

Labor Media Release - Nicola Roxon - 26 September 2007

“On many occasions for many months, Federal Labor has made it crystal clear that we are committed to retaining all of the existing Private health Insurance rebates, including the 30 per cent general rebate and the 35 and 50 per cent rebates for older Australians.”

“The Liberals continue to try to scare people into thinking Labor will take away the rebates. This is absolutely untrue.”

The Age - article by Leo Shanahan - 24 February 2009

“The Government is firmly committed to retaining the existing private health insurance rebates,” Ms Roxon told The Age.