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Budget leak shows Government still isn't listening.

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Kim Beazley - Budget Leak Shows Government Still Isn't Listening Monday, 23 April 2001

Budget Leak Shows Government Still Isn't Listening Kim Beazley - Leader of the Opposition

Media Statement - 22 April 2001

The significant Budget leak in Canberra today shows the following: John Howard can find billions of dollars to fund his backflips to save his political skin - but then he wants to pinch pennies from diabetics, people with cholesterol problems and all patients of medical specialists.

John Howard and his Health Minister were under pressure to give more money to GPs. So they are giving GPs an $11,000 a year pay rise, but making patients foot the bill. This is typical of a Government that is out of touch.

Michael Wooldridge was out in the media last week saying diabetes was a top health priority of this Government - now, behind closed doors, he's taking $10 million out of the pockets of diabetes patients.

There are a whole range of sensitive Budget measures dealt with in the leaked document - and virtually all of them betray a Government out of touch, out of ideas, and not listening.

They have even tried to pilfer the funding for the salinity program to the tune of $35 million, hoping that nobody would notice when the Budget itself is handed down in May.

The document also reveals, for instance, the the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Bruce Scott, has scored zero from his Budget bids - so again, billions of dollars are available to get the Government out of trouble on petrol or any other headline issue, but penny pinching for veterans and others on social security - or anybody who happens to need specialist medical care.

This is a significant Budget leak which shows the Howard Government is out of touch and losing its grip on its administration. Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.

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