The Turnbull Government’s moves to lift the GST to 15 per cent and extend the tax to health and fresh food would be another $14.7 billion hit to families and a disastrous blow to health outcomes.
Treasury figures indicate a 15 per cent GST on health would be another $5.25 billion a year slug on the sick while a 15 per cent GST on fresh food would be a massive $9.45 billion a year hit to family budgets.
Health and health insurance is specifically exempted from the GST and similar Value Added Taxes in many countries on the grounds that it is considered a public good and would distort competition.
A GST on health care would be the final straw for many families already struggling with the extra financial burden of the Turnbull Government’s $60 billion in health cuts.
With around 1 million Australians already living with diabetes, a $9.6 billion a year hit on healthier foods would make junk food even more attractive, worsening health outcomes and adding to health costs.
Coupled with a government that has slashed spending on preventative health programs, cut funding to health organisations and seeks to impose a GP Tax on visits to the doctor, a 15 per cent GST on health and fresh food would be yet another assault on health from the Turnbull Government.