Treasurer Joe Hockey has today added to fears the Abbott Government will try to introduce its GP Tax via the backdoor, by today refusing to rule out a repeat of the dishonest and deceitful means it used to hike fuel prices.
Fran Kelly: Are you planning to do that, to introduce it without legislation?
Hockey: I am not speculating on what the outcome is.
ABC Radio National 13 November 2014
Mr Hockey’s refusal to rule out a GP Tax by stealth comes just days after Health Minister Peter Dutton refused repeated requests to rule out cuts to Medicare rebates via regulation, if he is unable to force his GP Tax through Parliament.
These fears have been reinforced by an email sent on Friday from The Department of Human Services (DHS) seen by Pulse+IT Magazine informing software vendors they will need to make changes to their practice management software to accommodate the $7 GP Tax and 10 visit cap on concessional patients.
This is despite the fact legislation needed to introduce the GP Tax is yet to be even introduced into parliament.
This move highlights the deceit and dishonesty at the heart of this arrogant and out of touch government.
They lied about the GP Tax before the election, and now faced with the overwhelming rejection of the Australian people and the parliament, are trying to introduce the GP Tax by stealth, just as they did with the Fuel Tax.
This is a government that refuses to listen to all the evidence from health experts and professionals, and instead ploughs ahead with its bid to wreck Medicare in defiance of the parliament and the people.
The required software changes also backs up a report – The Red Tape Burden of the Proposed Medical Services Co-payment – released last week by the Australian Medical Association.
That report found the cumulative effect of the rebate cut and GP Tax will be an administrative and financial nightmare that could make some practices unviable.
Instead of trying to sneak its GP Tax in via the backdoor, the Abbott Government should listen to what Labor and most experts and health professionals have been telling it since day one and scrap its disastrous GP Tax.