Despite government claims that the funding will be fair and Australians would donate to this “budget saving job”, truth hasn’t endorsed these claims. And that is awful news for social and health equity.
This funding is going to have an immediate impact on health equity since not one of the funding items regarding the societal determinants of health occupation, income, healthcare, education, welfare, housing and transportation are being dealt with equitably.
Punishing The Bad Rewarding The Wealthy
The drive to privatise government works ignores evidence that it contributes to much more costly and less equitable services. So today the new Primary Health Networks will be invited to to”associate with private health insurance” (opening primary healthcare to the private medical insurance for your first time).
Universal supply of social, education and health providers are great for equity it sends the message which we’re in this together and averts two-tier systems.
However, this funding did not send that type of message. For example, it did not get rid of the financially reckless private medical insurance rebate that currently gives approximately A$5 billion of subsidies into the ineffective (in comparison to publicly-funded Medicare) personal medical insurance market.
Instead, it introduced a $7 co-payment for using GP services along with a 5 co-payment for medications which were formerly free since they had been around the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
This can make little difference to individuals from the middle-income selection and over, but may have a disproportionate effect on people who have worse health African American men and women, low-income folks, people who have mental illness, Aboriginal men and women, elderly pensioners and single parents.
They might need to defer healthcare before more expensive intervention is demanded.
Aside from the debt levy, which pays short term lip service to equity, the effect of the funding is regressive and a collection of missed chances to tax off the better. The paid parental strategy, for example, strengthens existing inequities and advantages well-off mothers most.
A Bleak Future
Instruction is fantastic for equity nevertheless the funding reduces the chances for the well off to go into college.
The funding does nothing to place our market to get a low-carbon future. Instead, it is stuck in 1980s growth mindset along with the vacant mantra of economic growth in any way costs.
This benefits the wealthy end of town that our continuing prosperity demands new markets (thus the frenzy for privatisation). Poor people have fewer resources to deal with climate change.
A reasonable budget could have pulled out all stops to decrease carbon with steps to put money into public transportation, encourage renewable energy (for instance, ensuring solar energy is more cheap for low-income individuals) and promote community steps to transition into sustainable practices (like a program of neighborhood gardens, for example, and bike-friendly infrastructure).
Rather, this funding has done very little for decreasing carbon aside from the gas pipeline, as well as the Clean Technology Innovation Program was axed.
Though the gas levy does taxation carbon, this step too will drawback low-income folks living on the fringes of the cities and rural inhabitants as they’re more dependent on automobiles.
Investment in public transportation could have been better for health equity in investment in construction streets that’s the principal infrastructure spending from the budget. Equity is not only a wonderful idea, it is the way we produce a better society.
Nations that provide people a reasonable go by dispersing income relatively equitably fared better on a range of steps of well-being such as longer life expectancy, less psychological health, less crime, better child welfare and much more confidence.
This funding has failed to deliver almost all these reasons. In general, it’s storing up health problems for your long run.