Tuesday 31 May 2016
Ms WOODRUFF question to MINISTER for HEALTH, Mr FERGUSON
State Budget 2016: No Additional Funding for Health
Parliamentary Activity - Wednesday, 1 June 2016
Wednesday 1 June 2016
Ms WOODRUFF (Franklin) - Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise to correct the record. The Minister for Health, Minister Ferguson, made what can only be construed as some misleading statements in the House yesterday about the question I asked him in question time. He asserted that I made some false assertions; I want to correct the record because that is not the case. I also want to point him to some sections of the budget papers he did not seem to be clear about.
The Minister for Health said he had heard language from me suggesting the Government is reducing funding and that that is not true at all. What I said was that there is a policy item in budget paper 1 this year and since the minister could not find it himself, I will point out for the record that it is on page 61, table 4.5. It is a policy item of $10 million for additional funding in the 2015-16 financial year to the Tasmanian Health Service.
There was also a reference I made to a parameter statement table, another section in table 4.5 on page 65 of budget paper 1, and that amount is for a parameter adjustment of $20.9 million to the Tasmanian Health Service for the 2015-16 financial year. Both those funds are additional funds made by the Government as happens each year. The amount of money that the minister has signed off on, going to the Health budget, is correct, as I stated - $18.5 million less than the money that was actually spent in the 2015-16 financial year. What is budgeted for next year is $18.5 million less than what has actually been spent in this financial year.
The other point that I made was that is the nominal terms of $18.5 million less, but the actual terms, the real terms when wage increases and basic equipment prices would be accounted for, have been estimated by some people to be in the order - as I said in the order, not precisely - of $50 million. Both of those figures I stand by and correct the record that it is not true that I was making false assertions.
The minister also said that:
Additional funding is extra money for the Health budget. This $50 million for our health system in last week's Budget is over and above the extra $100 million allocated in last year's budget. Only the Greens would assert that an extra $50 million is less money for the Health budget.
The point I make in that question, but I have made previously and I will make it again, is that the Government has allocated $50 million into the Health budget, but it is not additional in the term of this Government. Since the Government took office after the last election, $210 million was taken out of the Health budget, and $100 million has then been allocated to go back in two parts: $50 million went in last year and $50 million will go again into the 2016-17 Budget. That is not additional money. That money is to make up for some of the $210 million cut that was taken out of Health when the Government came into office. That should be pretty clear to anyone who is listening.