Page 3429 - Week 10 - Thursday, 20 October 2022

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development in the territory. I would remind Mr Cocks of the second part of my answer to the initial supplementary question around the investment in apprenticeships, traineeships and vocational education.


MS CASTLEY: My question is to the Treasurer. Former Labor Chief Minister Jon Stanhope and Khalid Ahmed revealed that the 2022-23 budget cuts health spending in real terms. They also explained that the ACT would have had an extra $238 million for health if you had kept funding in line with the national average. Why have you underfunded the biggest domestic public policy challenge in Australia?

MR BARR: We have not. The funding cuts in health came from Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey in 2014.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR BARR: The commonwealth make grants to the territory that flow through the territory budget and are presented as the headline investments in health. You lot cannot walk away from the fact that the commonwealth used to fund 50 per cent of hospital funding. In that 2014 budget Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey slashed that back to a commonwealth contribution of only 40 per cent, and that cut is reflected in the total health budget for the territory because it is a shared responsibility.

The ACT government’s funding for that comes from our own-source revenue, and our contribution to total health funding has not been cut. Only the commonwealth’s contribution has been cut.

Mr Hanson interjecting—


MS CASTLEY: Chief Minister, why have you provided significantly less health funding than the national average since 2015-16, given the substantial unmet demand on Canberra’s health system?

MR BARR: We did not. Health funding has increased in every budget.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR BARR: Health funding that is sourced from the ACT government as part of our responsibilities has increased. The only cuts have come from the federal government.

Mr Parton: A point of order, on relevance.


Mr Parton: The question is not about the increase in funding here; it is about comparisons with the national average on health spending.

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