Tasmanian Liberal MP Brett Whiteley has joined the growing revolt within Coalition ranks against Tony Abbott’s GP Tax.
The Federal Member for Braddon has told his local paper the GP Tax should be scrapped for pensioners and people with chronic illness.
Tasmanian Labor Senator Carol Brown said she was surprised it had taken Mr Whiteley three months to realise the tax would hurt Tasmanians.
“It is unbelievable that Mr Whiteley has suddenly woken up to the fact that this is a terrible tax which will hurt Tasmanians.
“His new found concern about the tax is more about saving his own job than genuine concern about sick people.
“He has refused to accept that the $7 GP tax will prevent people from going to the doctor because they simply can’t afford it."
Shadow Minister for Health Catherine King said Mr Whiteley was the latest in a growing list of Liberal MPs recognising the GP Tax is a disaster.
"It’s time for Tony Abbott to listen to what Labor, and most health experts and professionals have been telling him since the rotten tax was first announced," Ms King said.
"The GP Tax must be scrapped for all Australians."
Senator Brown said Mr Whiteley’s call for the tax to be scrapped for pensioners and people with chronic illnesses is too little, too late.
“There is over 20 per cent youth unemployment in North West Tasmania and I ask Mr Whiteley why young unemployed should have to pay this unfair new GP tax to go to the doctor?
“This tax must be abolished now for everyone.
“GPs and the Australian Medical Association don’t want the tax and say it will be detrimental to people’s health.
“It is bad health policy and everyone, but particularly poor and vulnerable Tasmanians, will suffer because of this tax.
“It will also put extra pressure on public hospitals and emergency waiting times.”