Mr STEPHENJONES(Throsby) (13:36): Over the last 18 months the people of Australia have grown used to the tactic of this government where they rob Peter to pay Paul. But in this budget we have seen the government robbing both Peter and Paul and probably Mary as well. We have seen the attacks on paid maternity leave. We have seen
Mr Tudge interjecting
Why is it whenever I talk about Peter, Paul and Mary we see Puff the Magic Dragon stand up and want to interject? We have seen cuts to paid maternity leave. We have seen cuts to family payments and over $2 billion worth of cuts to our health budget.
I just heard the member for Dobell talk about the problems of the ice epidemic in her electorate. Well, $20 million on an advertising campaign is fantastic, but I have got to say that, when you are cutting out $500 million from the flexible funds which are paying to put services on the ground to deal with the epidemic, the government has got its priorities wrong.
But, if ever there were a problem with these sneaky backdoor bandits, it is with the $8 GP tax by stealth. This is the situation where, between now and 2018, we are going to see an increase in co-payments. We are going to see, as the Australian Medical Association has told us, a drop off in bulk-billing payments. We are going to see co-payments introduced by stealth. This is the GP tax that the government knows and loves. The Public Health Association has called it a 'bloodbath', and we agree.