Page 1980 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 6 May 2009
30 per cent of the health costs, so six per cent growth on funding where we provide 70 per cent of the money means that our health budget is creeping up, and over the forward estimates period it will exceed $1 billion.
This is the sort of money that we are investing in health. These are the decisions we have taken to keep that funding going and, whilst it would have been easy to remove that funding—certainly a lot easier in how our bottom line would have looked—it would have put enormous pressure on the health system and resulted in us having to crisis-manage the health system through the budget process every year. We have taken a decision not to do that. We have protected the growth money in the budget for health and we will continue to look at efficiencies to ensure that we are providing the most efficient level of health care to the community of the ACT and the region that surrounds us.
MR COE: My question is to the Treasurer. Revenue projections for the 2012-13 financial year will be $3.8 billion, which will be a record level of revenue for the territory. Why are you projecting a budget deficit of $152 million in 2012-13 given that the territory will be earning a record level of revenue?
MS GALLAGHER: It is predicated on expenditure in government growing, Mr Coe, if you have not been paying any attention to the last two days.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Coe, a supplementary question?
MR COE: Given that, why are you unable to control ACT government expenditure so that the ACT budget will be in balance in 2012-13?
Mr Stanhope: Outline your cuts, Mr Coe.
MS GALLAGHER: We look forward to hearing those tomorrow. What I am hearing from Mr Coe is that they do not support six per cent growth in health being factored into the forward years. That is what I am hearing, that you remove—that you remove wages provision, that you remove provision for indexation to the community sector that is going to grow every year, that you remove all those provisions into the forward estimates.
MR SPEAKER: Order! It is actually the members on Ms Gallagher’s side that are creating the noise and making it a bit difficult to hear. Let Ms Gallagher continue in peace.
MS GALLAGHER: The opposition—we wait for this with great anticipation—no doubt will hand down a strategy tomorrow that includes no new growth in government expenditure. You would remove the provisions that we have made for health, for community sector indexation, for wages provision—because they are the costs. They are real to the territory budget, and we have shown them to be real.