It’s looking very much like Treasurer Joe Hockey doth protest too much.
The more he cries “class warfare”, the more we are reminded of the fundamental inequities of the federal budget.
Look in one direction and there is former Liberal leader John Hewson speaking out against the budget’s disproportionate impact on the poor, just as a new report from Australia21 investigates growing inequality in Australia.
Turn your head, and there is Dr Tim Woodruff from the Doctors Reform Society telling the ACOSS conference in Brisbane today that the principle of universal health care is in mortal danger.
None of the justifications for the Medicare co-payment survive critical analysis, he said.
“There is a very simple reason for this. The justification for this budget does not reside in facts or evidence. It is ideological. It is the rich and the rest. A return to class warfare.
The concept of Medicare as public health insurance for all is in mortal danger. The intention is to replace it with private health insurance for those who can afford it, and an underfunded public system safety net called Medicare, although more appropriately retitled MedicareLess.
Even the richest amongst us will suffer but they can’t see it. A divided society leads to insecurity and ill health across the full gradient of class.”
Meanwhile, Dr Woodruff and others with a concern for equitable healthcare have put together this clip below, explaining how the budget will exacerbate health inequalities.
Watch public health expert Associate Professor Peter Sainsbury explain why the budget is “about punishing disadvantaged people”.
Class warfare, indeed.