Health Minister Peter Dutton’s backdown on the GP Tax is a win for patients, and another humiliating budget defeat for a Government which refuses to listen.
The Australian Financial Review today reports Minister Dutton planned to bring the GP Tax legislation into parliament this week, despite all the evidence from health experts and professionals that it is appalling health policy.
However, Mr Dutton was forced to pull the bill because it does not have the support of parliament.
Shadow Minister for Health Catherine King said the government’s decision to only shelve the legislation, and not dump it altogether, simply reinforces how out of touch the Abbott Government is.
“The GP Tax is bad for patients, bad for doctors, bad for the health system and bad for the Budget,” Ms King said.
“All the experts agree the GP Tax will stop people seeing their GP, making them sicker and adding to the pressure on public hospitals.
“It’s time Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton listened to what all the experts, Labor and increasingly even their own backbench are telling them and dump this tax for good, not just shelve it.
“This is a humiliating defeat for the Health Minister and further evidence of a Budget in crisis.
“The Australian people have made clear they don’t want a GP Tax. It’s now time to start again and dump it.”