The Abbott attack site http://www.abbottfacts.com.au/ lists alleged reasons why we should fear a Tony Abbott government (I could not see a mention on the website that it is owned by the Labor Party, Link):
So what is the truth about these claims:
Labor claim: “As Health Minister in the previous Government he cut
$1 billion dollars from the hospital system.”
Mark Davis, National Editor says: “So what is the truth of the government’s ‘‘billion dollar rip off’’ charge against the Opposition leader. It turns out to be one of those political attack lines which so crudely simplifies reality as to be misleading while stopping short of being an outright untruth.” Link
Mark Davis explains:
1. Abbott wasn’t the Health Minister when the 5 Year funding agreement was negotiated and put in place by the then Health Minister Senator Kay Patterson.
2. Liberals increased commonwealth’s contribution to Hospital funding by $2.7 billion over 2003-4 to 2006-7, by 37% or 7.4% in real terms. “Labor portrays this $2.7 billion increase in funding as a $1 billion ‘‘rip-off’’ because the increase was not as large as Treasury and the Finance Department had originally expected.”
So, if you ‘expect’ a wage rise and don’t get it – you have not been “ripped-off”.
Labor claim: Abbott will cut SuperClinics.
“He has now admitted that he will make further cuts to health if elected Prime Minister, promising to abolish the GP Superclinic program and cutting the 24-hour telephone GP helpline.”
Labor has delivered only 3 of 31 promised Super Clinics in 3 years. Later they promised a total 450 clinics – at this rate it will take 150 years to deliver. Furthermore – turns out the clinics are just competing for patients with existing GP practices, effectively nationalising GP practice there. From Labor – why am I not surprised? Link
Labor Claim: Abbott will cut 24-hour telephone GP helpline.
Replacing GP’s with a call centre? No loss here. As a doctor, I believe this degrades patient care, but I guess I am biased. Link
Labor Claim: Tony Abbott is out of touch with Australian families.
“..Tony Abbott has said that he will reintroduce some of the worst elements of the Howard Government’s WorkChoices legislation. This includes individual work contracts, which cut the pay, penalty rates and overtime of many workers.”
Recycled scare campaign. Tony Abbott said it was a big mistake in his book Battlelines last year. He has ruled this out. No sign that Abbott is foolish enough to loose the next election on the same issue.
Labor Claim: Tony Abbott Facts about Education cuts
“Tony Abbott claimed to be the principal draftsman of John Hewson’s Fightback policy in 1993. This policy sought to wind back HECS and return to a system where only the rich who could afford full fees would be able to attend university.“
This policy was defeated 17 years ago. Abbott subsequently had 12 years of Howard government to argue for implementing any pillaging of HECS and did not do so. On the other hand, Julia Gillard, in the early 90’s was on the management committee of the radical left Socialist Forum, made up in part of members of the communist party, advocating abrogating the ANZUS Treaty, radical wealth redistribution and closer ties with communist Russia. This would seem a more worrying past than proposing reduction of HECS fees. Link Link
Labor Claim: Tony Abbott will cut the BER
“An incoming Coalition government will not spend a further cent of Building the Education Revolution money through the education department bureaucracies.”
Well, I should hope so – builders are overcharging for projects in public schools by hundreds of percent. This implies Abbott may change the delivery to more efficient means, not necessarily cut it, though I can’t see why we are stimulating and raising interest rates simultaneously.
The Australian link.
Labor Claim: “An Abbott government would scrap Kevin Rudd’s $2.5 billion Trades Training Centres program.”
They ‘forgot’ to complete the sentence “…and pump the money into new stand-alone trades colleges.” A distortion by truncation of quote. Furthermore, Kevin Rudd has delivered just 13 of claimed 2650 in 2 years. A big promise announcement, no delivery. The Australian link