In light of the AMA's latest public hospital report card, the Greens are calling on the Turnbull Government to undo Tony Abbott's damage to our healthcare system, and not by lifting the GST.
"Tony Abbott's first budget ripped $50 billion dollars from hospitals over a decade and restarted the blame game between the federal and state governments. It was a ruse to pressure the states into supporting a higher GST," said Greens Leader Dr Richard Di Natale.
"That's a silly political game that Tony Abbott - and now Malcolm Turnbull - is playing. It hurts patients, it hurts people on hospital waiting lists, it hurts people in emergency departments.
"Our hospital system is under resourced, and it's under resourced because the Abbott Government took $50 billion out of the system and the Turnbull Government is yet to commit to replacing it.
"This government would like ordinary Australians - people on lower and middle incomes - to pay more for ordinary goods through an increase in the GST, but they won't look ending unfair tax breaks that advantage their mates at the big end of town.
"This is a huge debate going into an election, and the question for Malcolm Turnbull is: who does he stand with?
"Does he stand with those ordinary Australians who know that universal healthcare is something that we want to build up rather than tear down? Or does he stand with his mates at the big end of town, protecting them from having to pay their fair share of tax?
"Unfair tax breaks and loopholes are allowing people to funnel money through superannuation, funnel money into the property market through negative gearing and capital gains tax exemptions, and funnel money into the mining industry through big fuel rebates, which means rich miners pay very little tax. That's where tax reform needs to start, not with an increase to the GST," Senator Di Natale said.
"Australia needs a leader who is prepared to raise revenue to pay for the services that Australians want and deserve, and not by making life harder for those who can least afford to pay."