Misconstrued facts make for ill-informed opinions

MR Jones is quite wrong to suggest I turn nasty when another viewpoint is expressed. 

I actually get quite angry when lies and or deliberate distortion of the facts are expressed against the government I’m proud to be a part of.

I get angry when Coalition ministers, MPs and supporters blame the federal Labor government for circumstances that they themselves have caused by their own actions or incompetence, and don’t have the political courage to be responsible for those actions.

And I get very angry when the media fails to even attempt to research the facts around some of the claims levelled against the federal Labor government.

Dr Langdon is more than happy to be an apologist for some of the outrageous claims made by Victorian Health Minister David Davis.

These include the claim “there are no (state government) cuts to Victoria’s health system, they are “savings” (Mornings with Neil Mitchell, aired on 3AW January 20, 2013).

It doesn’t really matter whether “cuts” or “savings” are the terms used.

The end result is the same.

The Baillieu Government will have ripped $616 million out of the Victorian health system over the period 2010-11 to 2013-14. 

Bendigo Health has to absorb $11.4 million as a direct result of the State Government’s cuts/savings. No doubt these cuts are the reason the Baillieu Government has reneged on the agreement for 2012 – 2013.

It was happy to sign to accept and absorb cost fluctuations that have caused a decrease in Commonwealth funding for this year.

This was clearly outlined in the Health reform initiatives introduced by the federal Labor government.

The very same agreement and cost fluctuations that resulted in Victoria gaining an extra increase in federal funding for last year (2011 – 2012).

This was in addition to federal Labor’s part of the agreement, which is to increase funding for Victoria’s health system, from $3.6 billion in 2012 – 2013 to 

$4.5 billion in 2015 – 2016.

Dr Langdon has never mentioned the $616 million State Budget cuts/savings or the $258 million in extra GST funding Victoria will inherit from the years 2012 – 2013 to 2015 – 2016.

Just a small amount of this GST increase would easily fund the $2.9 million federal government reduction that Bendigo Health has to absorb because of the state government’s refusal to honour its part of the Health Reform Initiative’s agreement. 

Dr Langdon should hang his head in shame.

Steve Gibbons MP,

Federal Member for Bendigo

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