19 April 2011 Nicola Roxon is under increasing pressure to clarify the Government’s position and rule out any cuts to health and medical research in the upcoming Federal Budget.
Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton said the proposed cuts of $400 million and the media reports today of an unconfirmed backdown are causing enormous angst and uncertainty for thousands of researchers, scientists, students and academics.
“Nicola Roxon today must rule out taking one cent from health and medical research,” Mr Dutton said.
“The Government’s deliberate leaking of cuts and the resulting speculation has been allowed to go on for too long.
“The Government’s games in the lead up to the Budget have been enormously damaging to a sector which has been so important and achieved so much for the Australian economy and health system.
“The Government has damaged our international reputation and provided uncertainty for the thousands in the research sector.
“The media reports today of a last minute backdown to the $400 million of proposed cuts do not rule out other changes that may damage the sector,” Mr Dutton said.
The Coalition at the last election proposed an additional investment of $200 million for health and medical research. This follows a five fold increase under the last Coalition Government.
“If Nicola Roxon was serious about addressing the many challenges facing our health system and chronic disease she would not only rule out any cuts, she would endorse the Coalition’s additional investment, Mr Dutton said