Claims by Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott that they never committed to properly funding public hospitals have been exposed as lies by their own 2013 election health policy.
Before the election, Tony Abbott and the Liberals could not have been clearer: no cuts to health, and bipartisan support for Labor’s agreement with the states and territories to fund 50 per cent of the growth of the efficient price of hospital services.
“A Coalition Government will support the transition to the Commonwealth providing 50 per cent growth funding of the efficient price of hospital services.”
“The Coalition’s Policy to Support Australia’s Health System” August 2013
“We are not in the business of cutting health. No cuts to health, no cuts to education, no cuts to pensions, no changes to the GST. Let me say it again – no cuts to health. No cuts to health.”
Tony Abbott, Melbourne Press Conference 30 August 2013
The first Abbott/Hockey Budget not only broke that promise, it tore up their own health policy.
$1.8 billion was cut from public hospitals over the next four years (and another $943 million in MYEFO) and the agreement with the states was trashed, ripping another $57 billion out over the next decade.
“The Commonwealth has reduced hospital funding to the States and Territories by $1.8 billion up to 2017-18 by withdrawing the funding guarantees made in the National Health Reform Agreement.
“In its Budget update released on 15 December 2014, the Government announced a further reduction in funding for public hospitals of $941 million over four years.”
The Australian Medical Association’s 2015 Public Hospitals Report Card
Not content with bald faced lies to hide the fact that their very first Budget broke their promise not to cut hospital funding, now Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott are lying about making the promise in the first place.
“We said that we would fund the four year commitments on both hospitals and schools but after that, the states need to account for the changes in hospitals …… the position we took to the last election and the position we took in the last budget stands.”
Joe Hockey, Doorstop Interview, Sydney, 23/4/2015
“Going into the last election we said that we would stand by the Rudd Gillard Government’s funding allocation for schools and hospitals over the then forward estimates period but beyond the then forward estimates period, we weren’t going to be bound by it.”
Tony Abbott, COAG Press Conference, 17/4/2015
The Liberal Party’s election health policy and the Prime Minister’s own words could not have been clearer: no cuts to health, and unequivocal support for Labor’s long term hospital funding agreement with the states and territories.
Australians deserve better than a Government that not only lies about health funding, but then lies about the lies it has told.
The Abbott Government’s dishonesty and chaos is hurting the economy and threatening the future of Australia’s hospitals and health care system.