The country’s largest union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), says an increase in the GST must not be extended to include basic health services.
ANMF Federal Secretary Lee Thomas said today reports the Turnbull Government is considering raising the GST from 10% to 15% and extending it to health, food and education, would hurt some of the most vulnerable in our society, such as low and fixed-income earners and young, struggling families.
“Australians already suffer some of the highest out of pocket expenses for healthcare in the world,” Ms Thomas said.
“Any increase in the current rate of GST to cover health would see people all across the community forking out even more for their basic, everyday healthcare.
“Under the previous Prime Minister, billions of dollars were slashed from States and Territories’ health and aged care budgets.
“That’s why the ANMF is now calling on Mr Turnbull to rule out yet another cost-shifting exercise on to health consumers with any new GST.
“What Australia needs is a stronger, sustainable universal system of healthcare under Medicare, which can deliver efficiency savings to the Government, whilst providing the proper funding to health and aged care to allow nurses and midwives to deliver quality care to their patients.”