Liberal Government’s plan to apply GST to aged care and services




SUBJECT: Liberal Government’s plan to apply GST to aged care and services

SENATOR HELEN POLLEY, SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR AGED CARE: I’d like to make some comments about the GST. Yesterday in the House of Representatives Malcolm Turnbull and his Government failed to rule out an increase to aged care service providers and older Australians.

Older Australians have been paying more than ever before for their services and care. Malcolm Turnbull has not changed any policies from the Abbott era and he is hell-bent on making sure that all Australians are taxed an increase on the GST to 15 per cent. This is unacceptable for older Australians.

JOURNALIST: [inaudible]

POLLEY: What he hasn’t done is rule it out. For a leader who said he was going to be innovative, visionary and a Government of the 21st century he’s failed this first test. Older Australians cannot afford to pay 15 per cent for the services and care that they need. This will make it unaffordable for them.

JOURNALIST: Are you unnecessarily scaring older Australians?

POLLEY: I think Malcolm Turnbull owes the Australian community and older Australians an explanation and to be up front about the fact he wants to jack up the GST by 15 per cent. His credibility is on the line. So whether it’s aged care services, whether it’s school children or whether it’s mums and dads who are packing their kids lunchboxes they are going to be taxed 15 per cent.

At a time when we should be looking at living a healthy lifestyle in this country we’ve got a Government and a Health Minister who would not answer any questions about the GST on fresh food. That’s absolutely unacceptable.

JOURNALIST: Mr Turnbull did say yesterday that any changes would come with compensation. What do you make of that?

POLLEY: As I said, he said he was going to be a Prime Minister for the 21st century and that he was going to take his Government forward. He’s failed that test. The only thing we do know for sure about this Government is that they want to hike up the GST to 15 per cent. I think he needs to be upfront with the Australian community about this because it’s going to hit those who are most vulnerable in our communities- families, low income workers and those people who are on benefits. You can’t compensate the extra $5,000 it is estimated to cost the average family.

JOURNALIST: Are you concerned that your concerns on the GST aren’t flowing through to the polls?

POLLEY: What I’m concerned about is ensuring that the Australian people know what Malcolm Turnbull is all about. They’ve changed the leader but they are still singing from the same song sheet. The Australian people really need to know what Malcolm Turnbull is really all about.

Not being able to rule out, that they’re not going to put a GST on aged care and the services that older Australians need requires quite a simple response to policy that will be unacceptable to the Australian people.

Thank you.