'LIES': ScoMo, Pitt lash out at Shorten's health cut claims
FEDERAL Member Keith Pitt has accused Bill Shorten of lying to the people of Bundaberg after the leader of the Opposition claimed all the LNP did was cut Queensland Health budgets.
The Hinkler MP said no matter how many times Mr Shorten claimed health funding to the Wide Bay region had decreased, "it doesn't make it true".
It comes after the leader of the Opposition announced an elected Shorten Labor Government would deliver a $15.7 million mental health centre in Bundaberg.
"The Liberals on the other hand just cut and cut and cut from health," a statement from the party claimed.
"As Treasurer, Scott Morrison cut from health and hospitals in every Budget he authored. His government has cut $3 million from Bundaberg Hospital under the current 2017-2020 funding.
"Now (Mr) Morrison is trying to lock in those cuts for another five years - a dud deal that the Queensland Labor Government is resisting."
But the claims were thwarted by both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Mr Pitt, with the latter telling the NewsMail the leader of the Opposition "should be more truthful".
"Health funding for Queensland has increased by 37 per cent from the Commonwealth Budget," Mr Pitt said.
According to the National Health Funding Pool, activity-based funding from the Commonwealth has increased by $24.8 million since 2016/17, while activity-based funding from the State Government has been cut by $3.9 million since 2016/17.
Mr Morrison wrote directly to the NewsMail: "The Liberal and Nationals' Government is getting on with the job of delivering the best possible health services for Queenslanders, including Bundaberg and the surrounding regions.
"Our plan for a stronger economy means that we are able to deliver the essential health services that the people of Queensland need and deserve, after the State Labor Government ripped $3.9 million from local hospitals."
But the opposition refuted the claims.
In Bundaberg yesterday Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare Catherine King said the Morrison Government had cut over, the term of its existing hospital agreement, "some $3 million from the Bundaberg Hospital".
"That means there are less outpatient visits, less emergency departments people can be seen, and that really does make a difference," she told media during Mr Shorten's Queensland Jobs Not Cuts bus tour.
Accusing Labor of playing games, Mr Pitt said the LNP had always prioritised Queenslanders' health.
"We were the ones that opened Headspace in Bundaberg," he told the NewsMail.
The MP implored Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to sign the National Health Reform Agreement, which he said would bring $8 billion dollars to Queensland.
"Only two states haven't sign up ... she is taking that away from services for Queenslanders," he said.