Liberal Premiers at today’s COAG meeting must put the health needs of the people of their state before their mate Tony Abbott and take a stand against his hospital cuts and disastrous GP Tax.
Tony Abbott promised no new taxes and no cuts to health, but didn’t even have the courage at the last COAG meeting to tell his Liberal mates he was about to smash their public hospitals.
Just weeks after that meeting his Budget wiped more than $50 billion from their health budgets, and announced a GP Tax that threatens to overrun their emergency departments.
At the time of the Budget, Liberal Premiers lined up to cry crocodile tears:
NSW Premier Mike Baird called cuts to hospitals a “kick in the guts”, saying hundreds and hundreds of beds would close.
(BAIRD – PRESSER – 14 MAY 2014)
QLD Premier Campbell Newman said “what the government is doing in relation to health and education is not acceptable.”
(Brisbane Times, 14 May 2014)
Victorian Premier Dennis Napthine said he was “surprised and shocked by the extent of the changes with respect to health and education.”
(NAPTHINE – PRESSER – 14 MAY 2014)
Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman said: “What we are seeing is something that is untenable and is unsustainable. I will not allow the rug to be pulled out from underneath us.”
(Hobart Mercury, 19 May 2014)
Despite all the talk, these Premiers have done nothing since to stand up for their states.
Just this week NSW Health Department figures revealed the GP Tax would drive an extra 500,000 patients into their Emergency Departments, blowing out waiting times and costing the state $80 million.
Despite this, Liberal Premier Mike Baird, whose state has lost around $16 billion in hospital funding over the next 10 years, refused to put his state first by standing up to Tony Abbott and demanding he drop his disastrous GP Tax.
It’s a deafening silence repeated by all the Liberal leaders at today’s COAG meeting, who have rolled over and allowed their mate to smash their health system with barely a whimper at the damage caused by Tony Abbott’s Budget.
It’s time for Liberal premiers to take a stand against Tony Abbott and his disastrous health policy by demanding he abandon his GP Tax and honour his promise to properly fund their public hospitals.
Total cuts to health by state thanks to Tony Abbott’s Budget: