While Commonwealth Health Minister Tanya Plibersek has claimed the Budget gives $1bn extra for Queensland hospitals, Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls is criticising the Commonwealth for cuts to health and other areas of Government. For example, Mr Nicholls presented this table at the PwC Federal Budget Breakfast yesterday:
So who is right? Well, they both are, depending on what point of comparison you assume. Ms Plibersek is right that the Commonwealth is increasing health funding for Queensland each year over 2013-14 to 2016-17, but Mr Nicholls is right that the increase is less than what Queensland originally expected based on last year’s Commonwealth Budget. (We’re getting less than we originally thought we would largely due to a downward revision in Queensland’s estimated population.) See the chart below comparing what Queensland is getting now compared with what we thought we’d be getting this time last year. Note there is no comparative figure for 2016-17 from last year’s Budget because it was outside the forecast period.
By the way, I chatted with Steve Austin on 612 ABC Brisbane Radio yesterday morning about the Budget:
We started off with a nice chat about my CityCat ride to ABC Studios at Southbank before moving on to my concern Australia could end up in a state of permanent deficit.