Thursday 13 September 2012 Treasurer Wayne Swan, today refused to rule out Labor has a secret plan to cut health and medical research, in a desperate search for funding cuts to fill Labor’s $120 billion budget black hole.
Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing, Peter Dutton, demanded in Question Time that the Treasurer rule out cuts to health and medical research grants.
The Treasurer refused to rule out the cuts.
Mr Dutton wants the Treasurer to put the health of Australians ahead of his efforts to cover up Labor’s fiscal ineptitude.
“Swan shouldn’t gut health and medical research to cover his $120 billion budget black hole. Otherwise where will the next generation of vaccines come from? Where will new cancer treatments come from? As our population ages how will people live healthier lives?” Mr Dutton said.
Mr Dutton contrasted the Coalition’s record of supporting research with Labor’s contempt for its importance.
“The Coalition has a strong record of supporting health and medical research. Labor prefers to build close to a billion dollars worth of new health bureaucracies over the forward estimates,” Mr Dutton said.
Mr Swan’s refusal to rule out cuts to research comes on the back of last year’s failed attempt to cut back research funding in the budget.