The Opposition has warned that spiralling costs as a result of the Minns Labor Government’s union wage deals are risking future investment in state’s health system, with the Health Minister refusing to rule out cuts to the Coalition’s record health funding.
Leader of the Opposition Mark Speakman reiterated the Liberals’ and Nationals’ record investment in health and stressed the importance of Budget management to ensuring health services aren’t put at risk.
Under the Liberals and Nationals:
- The recurrent health budget was increased by 98.3% (more than $30 billion).
- The capital budget was increased by 209% (almost $3 billion).
- More than 180 new or significantly upgraded hospitals and health facilities across NSW were completed, with more than 130 other projects commenced and underway now.
- The NSW health workforce was increased by nearly 30,000 full time staff (from 98,5000 under the previous Labor Government to approximately 127,000 at the conclusion of the previous Coalition Government).
“Our investment was made possible because we had control of the Budget and could manage public sector wages. It’s becoming increasingly clear that next week’s Budget will be completely compromised by out-of-control wage increases as a result of Labor’s deals with their union mates,” Mr Speakman said.
“The Premier, Treasurer and Health Minister can’t tell us how they’re funding their ‘additional investment’ and are refusing to rule out potential cuts in next week’s Budget. Chris Minns needs to commit to not cutting a cent of our record $33 billion health investment which was to deliver an additional 10,000 health workers.”
Shadow Minister for Health Matt Kean said a big question mark over the health budget is the ongoing stand-off with the state’s paramedics.
“The threat of more industrial action continues to linger over this government. The Health Services Union rightfully expect Chris Minns to keep his word and deliver on his promise of a huge pay rise,” Mr Kean said.
“The bill for Labor’s deal with the unions has so far reached at least $4 billion, and it’s only going to increase, which means more pressure on the health budget which will compromise front line services.”
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