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Return to the past? « Previous | |Next »
May 15, 2003

I've been thinking about the Howard Government's third term reform agenda in the light of the Costello 2003 Budget that proposes to return future surplus as small tax cuts.With debt being paid for by the sale of Telstra the reform shift in health and education is to a user pays systems. The market is going to the instrument that is used to govern health and education.

If any affordable surplus from future tax growth will be delivered as tax cuts and not in general as spending on public services, then that puts a cap on public spending. So the continuing structural reform will be within the constraints of good economic management. This means there is a shift to the consumer paying more for private services. The new money that is going to go into health and education will come from consumers paying more and for health and education services.

It is a return to the 1993 Fightback policy platform. As Max Walsh points out the health reforms there "proposed that free health care be confined to pensioners and health-care card-holders only." And in 1987, "when Howard first ran for the prime ministership, his health platform proposed the abolition of bulk billing except for the disadvantaged."

Is Howard using his political ascendancy over Labor to push for the "privatisation" of a universal public health and public education system and so create a two-tiered private and public system?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 3:21 PM | | Comments (4) | TrackBacks (1)
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» What's wrong with two-tiered education and health? from Gareth Parker
GARY SAUER-THOMPSON claims the Budget is a return to the principles of John Hewson's ill-fated Fightback package: Is Howard using his political ascendancy over Labor to push for the "privatisation" of a universal public health and public education syst... [Read More]

 
Comments

Comments

yup, John Howard, the great liberator and reformer...

God, it frustrates me that the ALP can't get their shit together. The Government is privatising the essentials like health and education and there's no cohesive opposition to stop them.

Jonas,
Not convinced by Simon Crean's Reply to the Costello Budget?

Gianna,

would you have the last dance with John if he asked you?