Treasurer Wayne Swan
Treasurer Wayne Swan

Swan calls Qld govt 'cynical'

FEDERAL Treasurer Wayne Swan has accused the Queensland government of engaging in "cynical politics" after it announced health spending would receive an $800 million boost in Tuesday's budget.

Premier Campbell Newman revealed on Sunday health spending would increase by 7% to $11.9 billion, with the increase designed to bolster weekend work and reduce patient waiting times through private hospital partnerships.

The funding announcement came a day after the Liberal National Party government revealed 14,000 public service job cuts would be contained in the budget - down from 20,000 - and two days after Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said 2754 jobs would be slashed from health.

Mr Swan said the Newman government was sending mixed messages to an already angry and confused public.

"You just can't sack 3000 people on Friday, then pretend the budget is increasing on Sunday," Mr Swan said in Brisbane on Sunday.

"And I think that's how Queenslanders will see that story today."

Mr Swan claimed the slash and burn approach being flagged by the Newman government was a "sneak preview" of what a Coalition government would do federally.

"Campbell Newman made $4 billion worth of unfunded election promises, didn't tell the Queensland people how he was going to fund them, then after the election set about filling that gap by slashing health and education and refusing to commit to vital policies like the National Disability Insurance Scheme," he said.

Mr Swan and Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin joined Queensland Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk in Brisbane ahead of the budget, the Newman government's first.

Ms Palaszczuk said Tuesday loomed as a "very sad day" for the 14,000 people facing the axe.

"This is not a caring government," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"All they are about is slashing and burning simply to pay for their unfunded election commitments."

The trio highlighted a petition signed by 10,000 Queenslanders urging the Newman government to sign up to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Last week Mr Newman announced plans to trial one of the key features of the NDIS - direct funding for disabled people.

Mr Swan said it was vital all states were "on the same page" in implementing all facets of the NDIS.

"Sadly, in Queensland, we have not had the support of the Queensland Premier and the Queensland Government," he said.

"This is an issue which should be above politics.

"The Federal Government has come to this issue with a commitment to put in place this critical national reform.

"It won't be easy, but we need everybody on the same page."



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