Barely a week after the Budget has been handed down it’s already unravelling, with Health Minister Sussan Ley blowing a $1.3 billion hole in the health budget.
The Minister has today admitted she cannot get the $5 hike in prescription costs and unfair changes to the PBS safety net through Parliament.
Collectively, these measures are forecast to raise around $1.3 billion over the forward estimates.
They were included as part of massive hit on the health budget last year and despite being stalled in the Parliament, were again included in last week’s Budget.
Now, the Minister has admitted what she has known for months now – there is no support for her unfair changes to the PBS and the promised Budget savings are a fraud included solely to prop up Joe Hockey’s bottom line.
Why did the Minister agree to this Budget fraud last week then abandon it the next?
And why, just a week after the Budget, is the Minister warning she is looking for further unspecified cuts to health?
Not content with having cut $60 billion from health last year, and another $2 billion this year, the Minister is now flagging she will hit health again.
What areas is she targeting now? More cuts to hospitals? More cuts to general practice? More cuts to drug and alcohol programs?
Why does this Government only ever see health as a target for Budget cuts and what is next in this Government’s sights?