The Hon. Rob Lucas MLC

The Hon

Rob Lucas MLC

Treasurer

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Weatherill defers $45 million in health cuts until after election

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The Weatherill Government’s Mid-Year Budget Review has tried to hide the real extent of health cuts by deferring $45 million in cuts until after the election.

“Contrary to the impression given by the Weatherill Labor Government, there has been no ‘reprieve’ or reduction in budget cuts for Health,” said Shadow Health Minister Rob Lucas.

“In fact, page 40 of the MYBR makes it clear ‘the same level of savings is achieved by 2016/17’.

“This means that by 2016-17 budget cuts of $379 million per year still have to be achieved.”

The following table shows total budget cuts over the 4 years add up to $1,033 million:
Year Health cuts (cumulative)
2013/14 $116 million
2014/15 $216 million
2015/16 $322 million
2016/17 $379 million
Total: $1,033 million

“The budget cut of $379 million in 2016-17 is exactly the same figure as announced in last year’s budget,” said Mr Lucas.

“The simple fact is the only change has been the $45 million of cuts which were being implemented before the 2014 state election have now been deferred and added to the already significant budget cuts required for the next three years.

“SA Health Chief Executive David Swan told the Budget and Finance Committee in September this year and the Minister told Estimates in June that all decisions had already been taken to implement the $161 million in health cuts required for this year.

“So clearly the decisions had already been taken and Mr Weatherill and Mr Snelling simply didn’t want to reveal the real impact of these cuts until after the election.”
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