Joe Hockey has today made clear the Abbott Government wants to scrap all Commonwealth funding for public hospitals, to blackmail the states into accepting a massive hike in the GST.
Mr Hockey’s intent has been made clear by his decision to highlight, through leaks to the media his demand that the states pick up “the costs of their public hospital systems as our population ages into the future”.
This comes just weeks after a leaked copy of the Federation Green Paper prepared by the Prime Minister’s own Department, revealed the Commonwealth is considering stripping more than $18 billion from hospitals every single year.
The Treasurer’s speech confirms the $60 billion cut from health in last year’s Budget was just the beginning of an even more extreme attack from the Abbott Government on Australia’s public hospitals.
It confirms Tony Abbott is getting set to wash his hands of every public hospital in Australia to force the states into accepting a bigger, and more regressive GST.
Any increase in the base of the GST or an increase in the rate can only be done in a way that would hurt the most vulnerable.
Joe Hockey’s ultimatum to the states shows the government is clearly prepared to use patients as hostages in its campaign to force states to raise the GST.