Would You Support an Increase in The Medicare Levy (for New Services or to Maintain Full Bulk Billing GPs)?

I think everyone is aware of the discussions on Medicare and free health-care being eroded in Australia.
Examples of some key talking points:

  • GPs that were bulk billing are now moving to full fee or mixed billing.
  • Increased calls for standard dental to be added to Medicare
  • Mental health consults requiring more time and specialists vs GPs
  • Patients going directly to Emergency
  • Health checks declining due to cost of visits being a deterrent
    Etc

Given these and any others you may comment, would you support an increase in the Medicare Levy?
There has been some modelling with specific increase but let's just say it's an increase anywhere from 0.5% to 3%.

Poll options are limited but would also be interested in comments for who would prefer a progressive increase as well etc.

Note: there are debate points on Private Health Insurance subsidies, junk policies and applying the Medicare Levy Surcharge but I'd like to leave that out of the poll.
Please do add comments if you have any thoughts (e.g. paying the surcharge instead of getting a junk policy and preferring an overall increase to the Levy instead of the requirements for PHI).

Poll Options

  • 525
    Yes - to add new services (e.g Dental, dedicated mental health) & maintain full bulk billing at GPs
  • 38
    Yes - to maintain full bulk billing at GPs
  • 6
    Yes - overall increase with no specific focus areas
  • 29
    No - Mixed billing is the way forward
  • 163
    No - Would not want to pay more

Comments

  • +57

    Everyone should pay a part of the cost of going to the GP to reduce over-servicing and ensure people only go with legitimate reasons.

    That cost should be small and affordable for everyone, but the service should not be "free".

    • +2

      This is a very good point and was linked to people going directly to Emergency and "clogging it up".

      There was also the controversy when Chemist Warehouse started providing Medical Certificates for $20~ and opinions were divided on whether it was beneficial as it would free up GPs and the rebate or if it was a cash grab by a greedy corporation.

      Out of curiosity, how much would you consider to be reasonable?
      My nearby mixed billing options for a standard GP consult range from out of pocket $10, $19.95 to $30

      • +9

        Out of curiosity, how much would you consider to be reasonable?

        Well, let's put it this way … when the government attempted to introduce (IMHO a measly) $7 co-payment in 2014 it got howled down.

        If that amount is going to get howled down, any other amount suggested by anyone is entirely moot.

        Personally, for my GP consults I pay about $90 and then receive the standard Medicare rebate which leaves my out of pocket costs somewhere around $60 from memory.

        • +6

          $60 out of pocket I would imagine would be a real deterrent for a lot of people…

          I've never had to personally go for a consult beyond 15 minutes including the time for the GP to type up the notes.

          Would you be able to share if the consult is reasonable in length/you don't feel rushed OR the wait time in the reception etc is low enough to compensate

          • +3

            @Unorthodox: I don't feel rushed, but there is definitely a sense of timeliness to the arrangement (more from the "door staff" than the doctor). It's scheduled for 15 minutes, and I'm usually in there for about 20 minutes. That's OK as I'm not there for a chat and am quite keen to be in and out on the issue at hand. That said, when I have gone to the bulk bill joints, you really get the feeling that it's a chop shop based maximising patient volume.

            In terms of waiting times, I've never known a doctor to run even close to scheduled times. For that reason I always attempt to get the first appointment of the day. Failing that I'll go for the last appointment and attempt to get some guide on how they are tracking before turning up. At least the last appointment doesn't destroy my whole day.

        • +27

          the problem with co payment is that the heaviest users of GPs are the sickest.. so if you're sick, pensioner, disabled etc and need frequent visits, it becomes quite expensive.

          so then we create exemptions "Pensioners don't pay" "no no of course, if you have a disability you don't pay" then you get to the point where all the heaviest users are exempt. then someone like me comes along who goes to the Dr rarely and I'll get pissed cos wtf do I pay Medicare, PHI and now I go to the doctor once and I have to fuc.king pay?

          I don't think co payments should become the norm.

          Maybe we need a system of like "You get 12 bulk billed visits a year" (once a month or maybe 6 a year) and anything after that, you're taking the piss and you need to pay.

          Although, I think of my mum and she has no choice but to go to the Dr frequently for prescriptions refills.

          So idk it's messed up with no right answer.

          • +1

            @CheapskateQueen: I actually do think there is merit in the x number of bulk billed visits per year - and obviously if you have a Health Care card etc then you may get more. This would encourage people to at least get the recommended checks (e.g. if you are a frequent outdoors worker or spend time in the sun you could use it to check for skin cancer, if you are a from a family of diabetics you could have a plan for that etc etc).

          • @CheapskateQueen: I'm with you on this one. I'm actually curious though as to whether this is even an issue we want to solve.

            What is a wasted/useless doctors appointment? There's not always gonna be a solution/diagnosis everytime someone goes to the doctor and there'll be an element of chance somewhat that a bigger issue is noticed (aka one of the reasons doctors have advocated against telehealth as a regular day to day thing).

            If it's just a someone who's bored or whatever (they'd have to be really damn bored) then I agree your X free visits a year (extended with any condition that warrants it) is probably the way to go. Then the doctor could suggest joining the local real, rotary/lions club or whatever they need to cure their boredom lol.

        • I think part of the problem is people go to the GP for different purposes and needs, but the service is the same.

          • You have people who have chronic illnesses and are visiting the GP frequently
          • You have people who are only mildly ill and there just for a quick medical cert and some basic medication, antibiotics etc
          • You have people who have serious illnesses

          For some people a $7 visit is justifiable, for other's not so much. Some like yourself might easily justify paying $60, I personally wouldn't for the level of service I require when I do actually visit.

          Maybe we should consider implementing a tiered system and breaking a GPs role into smaller more "specialised" roles (I realise that's an oxymoron) or even introduce new lower sub-qualifications/professions for some of the more basic work.

      • People tend to go to emergency (in hospitals) when there are no spots left or easily accessible GPs. I think hospitals should look at adding GPs on site (like they have GP access in the Hunter) this helps relieve stress off hospitals but also means there is a straightforward place to go.

        If I cut my hand and need stitches, I actually probably only need a trained nurse to fix it up but instead I had to go to hospital and take up a bed (I could've had the stitches fixed while sitting) as it was after hours and the clinic had closed.

    • +17

      So do you propose giving up our decades-held mantle of having universal free healthcare for all Aussies if GPs are allowed to privately charge a fee?

      I support more Medicare funding to pay for universal full Bulk Billing GPs, however that increased funding from a fixed federal budget flows to Medicare over say the defence budget, and not via a higher Medicare levy tax. The fact that the Medicare fee to GPs has not increased in line with inflation in the last two decades as reported in ABC News, shows how much a priority healthcare is compared to defence when we are now contemplating spending hundreds of billions on nuclear submarines.

      • +6

        if we had used the submarine funding ey…

      • Certain non-citizens are covered by Medicare if they increase the levy guess who pays the increase and who doesn’t.

      • I guess it's one of those things, It's all fun and games gutting the defensive force… Untill you need it. Then it's too late.

        Who's to say if we'll ever "need" it again? We certainly needed it from 1939-1945… But that's a very distant memory/just a story for most people now.

      • +1

        Our "universal healthcare for all Aussies" doesn't cover ambulances for instance but nobody hesitates to call or use them, and the ambulance is often abused by people who have free use due to holding a concession card. Within the $7 levy half went to the govt and half went to the clinic so they could waive it for half the visits based on their own judgment. There is massive abuse of the medicare system with clinics attaching other services like diagnostics and over using them.

    • -4

      not sure if intended or not, you are proposing putting a fee gate to deny medical care to people who might not be able to afford a GP consult, all because of the perceived idea that a small number people clog up GPs? yes?

      not sure if you are aware enough, how your own comments would read like if one day you find yourself on the other end trying to scrape by and avoiding GPs because you can't afford it.

      • +2

        slowmo, your reply of "you are proposing putting a fee gate to deny medical care to people who might not be able to afford a GP consult…"

        is essentially completely twisting Xyzzy's comment of…

        "…That cost should be small and affordable for everyone, but the service should not be "free"."

        PS I did not neg you

        • +2

          small and affordable for everyone,

          There's no such thing, there is no perfect sytem. Either you provide care to all with some taking 'advantage', or you provide care for most while allowing disadvantaged people to suffer.

          There is no twist, this is a common 'argument' with the UK's NHS. And the 'gate' would be an undeniable consequence.

          And you could say, 'ok, then add an extra system where you can apply to have the fee waived (sorta like the healthcare card / pensioner / etc)' but that just adds hoops for people to jump through.

          • +2

            @tetra: I have to agree. I'd much rather lower the barrier to entry.

            I think first we need to determine if there are cases of abusing the system (aka excessive doctor visits), how much of an issue is it really, and will trying to fix the problem cause more harm than good?

            If we were to do it (due to finding out it actually is an issue), I'd much rather see X number of free visits a year first rather than charging for every visit. Then we should review it.

            Fact is a lot of people don't like going to the doctor, and a small even negligible barrier to entry (say $1 or applying for a health-care card) can be the difference between early intervention and being too late. Obviously this statement is also unfounded which is why I think any action we take needs to be reviewed.

    • +6

      No they shouldnt. The smallest things can be something more serious, people shouldnt be second guessing going to the doctor more than they allready do. People shouldnt be choosing between thier health or thier childrens health and putting food on the table.

      • I worked IT in several medical centres the number of parents coming in with kids after the most minor things due to the cost being $0 was significant, based on your logic food should be free too, love to see the price/quality of food if the government had being managing the bulk of it for the last few decades.

        • +1

          Not having a go at you but why do you think it's because the cost was low that they came in? I can see it going both ways though, people double check and actually find an ear infection or whatever and can get it treated.

          There's still those that would spend the money and do it every time anyway. Which kinda is just based on whether you can afford it at that stage.

    • +5

      This may sound like it can save a bit for Medicare however, if because of the out of pocket costs, some patients hold off going to see the GP, and some minor issues/ may evolve to much bigger and costlier ones, earlier symptoms of serious conditions are missed, so in the end, the Medicare has to pay more for in hospital treatments or more expensive PBS medicine etc, compounded with unnecessary sufferings of the patients. Medicare levy may not be perfect but still quite an equitable solution, as it essentially means people with income will pay for the costs. Should it be increased, or should the government cut costs from other spendings is debatable but charging patients for visiting GP universitaly is a backward step and ultimately detrimental to the Medicare system.

      • Assuming your correct about the ratio of early misses vs unnecescary visits. Why isn't there a campaign against ambulance fees? people must be dieing in the streets or hobbling to hospital after car acidents to save the cost which is over 100 times greater than the fee Abbot propossed. Which also let the clinic keep half so they could waive the fee for at half the visits based on thier assesment of patient needs.

        • Some states have free ambulance cover (covered by other fees). I definitely think it should be looked into.

          At the end of the day if you need an ambo and you can't afford it they'll still send one. They'll do payment plans and fee reviews in NSW. It's not ideal but it's not the US. I'd 100% support adding Ambos to Medicare, with a regular review to ensure they're not being used as a doctor on call unnecessarily (and taking money away from more important areas).

          • @lancesta: Kinda missed the point, Ambulances that are not for most people in say NSW but the only abuse/overuse is by people that don't have to pay, if you make it free for everyone then you will significantly add to the cost of providing the service or it will be much worse for the truly urgent cases.

    • +1

      Tony Abbott suggested this when PM and it got canned, hard. "How dare you introduce a $6 co-payment?!?" Etc.

      • I think the sentiment was that he was already cutting all government spending to the bone, said he was going to fix healthcare, then decided that people need to pay for the fix and not the government. The man just pushed every agenda he wanted, backflipped on every promise and just didn't think he'd lose his job over it

        • I'll give them credit for removing Panadol and stuff like that from the PBS. I don't mind if generics were covered but paying for brand stuff so far away from it's patent period was just taking money away from the limited budget the PBS is given.

        • I bet were all happy now that sort of thinking has been driven out of the Liberal party, much better that we have a trillion in debt.

    • Sure, but it was meant to be $5 remember. Were now paying what, $40?

      • Technically bulk billing is still meant to be used, but the stats are off as doctors were registering paid appointments as bulk billing so they could give the patient the refund straight away and take it off the bill.

    • Do you have any statistics to back this up, or is it just gut feel?

      I'd be happy to pay for a few hypochondriacs if it means low income people won't avoid the doctor.

      I already pay extra. My income is high enough to get smashed by the Medicare levy, but I refuse to get private insurance. Drives my accountant nuts 😂

      • Personal experience but I'm probably in an area where you get ripped off for everything.

        Good on ya for sticking it to the man.

  • +7

    I'm skeptical with the notion of spending more money to fix* complex symptoms, when the behind processes that cause these issues should be given a hard look it and prioritised over money increases.

    fix* is like taking Panadol for relief (but seen as a fix) and not fixing the cause(s) that caused the pain.

    • +2

      @SF3 Like how we collected 16Billion in Tobacco Excise, which barely covers the 137 billon it costs each year.

      Lets follow NZ and take Nicotine out, and go from there.

      • Based on your data.

        A 137billion rug with a 16billion lump.

      • +2

        we collected 16Billion in Tobacco Excise, which barely covers the 137 billon it costs each year….. take Nicotine out, and go from there.

        I don't know if your figures are right or wrong, but $16Bn is about 11% of the $137Bn…. I very highly doubt that tobacco is responsible for anywhere near 11% of the country's total health costs. So if you take out the source of the $16Bn, there'll just be a huge hole in the budget that will need to be plugged up somehow - ie, more taxes somewhere else.

        • +5

          There's a great Yes Minister sketch which explains it all!
          https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=you+tube+yes+minister+s...

        • +4

          Cigarette smokers die younger so they collect a lot less retirement benefits on average. In the overall scheme, smokers contribute more via taxes than they take through welfare. They are unfairly vilified.

          • -1

            @Thaal Sinestro: Is this a joke or can you point to some data?

          • @Thaal Sinestro: Couldn't agree more. If only the government extended their BS taxes to high calorie nutritionally absent food and drinks, the rest of the country might wake up.

            They are already doing the same thing with beer. Pretty much anything that squeezes more out of the working class which doesn't affect the average politian that will result in GDP going up is given the green light.

            Of course smoking is bad for your health but I don't think the general population has realised that those who drink and smoke aren't just going to happily replace it with nothing. Part of the population might be considered "addicts" and they'll fill that gap with something whether that's smoking, drinking, gambling, drugs, extreme sports or junk food (which to be honest is way worse). Unfortunately the cheapest alternative is now ice. Guess which country is now the ice capital of the world? https://medicalrepublic.com.au/is-australia-really-the-ice-c...

        • I think you misunderstood the BewareOfTheDog.

          The cost of smoking is estemated $137B a year for AU economy. And excise on tobacco only covers $16B
          So excise does not cover the costs to the society, so better to do away with tobacco altogether.

      • look into a number before you use it. Based on the numbers (from a totally impartial group who definitly don't have an agenda) the Healthcare budget (the only government cost) is positive by around 9.2 billion, the other costs aren't paid by the government and only have an indirect effect on the budget. $118 Billion is intangeble costs (taking these out alone sends the number positive), 5 billion in lost productivity and worker absences (interested to see if they offeset it against decreased stress etc) $2 billion for family members caring for someone with a smoking-related disease (love to see the assumptions worked into this one) $6.8 billion in healthcare costs, including the cost of 1.7 million hospital admissions to treat smoking-related conditions.

        To be clear I have never smoked a cigarette!

  • +12

    No.

    The medicare levy is high enough and funded mostly by high income earners.

    It is absolutely disgusting that the health insurance rebate is tiered and those above $280k combined income get zero rebate.

    • +9

      I just looked it up, $7bil pa and rising in private health insurance rebates.

      It is absolutely disgusting that the health insurance rebate is tiered and those above $280k combined income get zero rebate

      Remove the rebate altogether and apply those funds to supporting single payer healthcare. This would also remove the 'disgusting' tiered approach of the rebates.

    • +22

      I agree with you. High income earners >$200k pa are the new sandwiched middle class because they pay Over their fair share of taxes, while the truly rich (hundreds of millions in networth) get to funnel their taxes through shell companies and trusts and avoid paying any taxes at all.

      Big mining execs come to mind. I don't get why Australia's mining profits mostly flow to individuals like Gina Rinehart and Andrew Forrest instead of the federal government coffers? A less corrupt country like Norway has all Norwegian oil profits flow to the Norwegian government and their national sovereign fund, and the fact that doesn't happen in resource-rich Australia speaks to the largely hidden endemic corruption here.

      • +5

        Additionally higher wage earners are also forced to pay for private health insurance even when they dont want or require it so an increase in levy would mean those in that bracket are again getting completely screwed over

        Are there not also reductions, vouchers, free care vouchers that those on lower incomes, welfare and older peoples get by default to cover off on any costs like this?

        Trouble is the government feel they have to pay for everything for everyone and its those in the high income class that pay for it all and get nothing back for it

        • +1

          Agreed. This is the reason why Australia is relatively undeveloped although its the same size as continental USA, and less than a tenth of its economy, because I think high personal income taxes negates productivity and forces the best and brightest of Aussies to work in other countries with a fairer tax regime (think US/EU/HK). This dooms Australia to be a mining dominant economy unless the unfavourable tax regime to its productive working class is changed.

          • +5

            @dofdaus: I cant comment on a lot of that, but can attest to being absolutely hammered as a high income earner

            We just give give give and watch the government continue to fund new initiatives and find more ways to use us as cash cows

            Pretty frustrating

          • +4

            @dofdaus: Most of australia is uninhabitable desert or bush.

            We dont need more ppl to cram the cities up nor do we want to promote urban sprawl and developers turn bush or farmland into cookie cutter houses

            • +1

              @MrThing: Yes, Australia is large but, unlike America or Europe, most of our land if uninhabitable arid trash land. Australia cannot sustainable support 100 billion. Yet cretins assert that more people will 'magically' make everyone richer.

              • +2

                @Thaal Sinestro: The very foundations of capitalism push for uninterrupted growth at the expense of all else.

                I dont see an issue with a world were population and the economy never grows but just fluctuates. This is the only sustainable outlook

                • +2

                  @MrThing: Agreed. This obsession with unfettered growth of economics and population is killing everything.

    • +1

      I don't disagree with the 2% Medicare levy or a small increase to improve services like the dental system that is out of reach for millions of Australians. Our family income <100k and i believe it's only right to pay for the services you and the community use.
      However the PHI rebate has been a complete scam as far as I'm concerned - we are in no way able to afford not justify the cost of private health insurance, and yet the ATO takes our money every year to subsidise those more wealthy people who actually CAN afford PHI; the cost of it should be 100% worn by those using it, and the government should not be paying any taxes to it, in fact PHI users should rightly be paying a subsidy for the public system.

      • +1

        +1
        100% agree and also see a parallels with the educational system.

        The >200k earners crying about not getting anything in return for their taxes are delusional.

        • Yeah I honestly don't understand why we subsidise so much private school fees and medical care.

          I would be really interested to know whether it's value for money, does the government actually save money when someone takes out private healthcare. I know a lot of private health systems expect you to use the public system and Medicare to pay the base of whatever you're getting done.

          I definitely can't see how it saves any money in the education system. Public school fees aren't tax deductible lol.

      • +1

        I do think some people would re-consider their 'yolo' lifestyle choices if they had to pay the medical bill

        • Sure but not everything is under your control..

        • +5

          Noone thinks "hey I don't care about stopping smoking because my cancer treatment will be covered by Medicare". If someone doesn't have the foresight to care about their own health, they aren't going to start worrying when there is a price tag on it as well.

          People don't think unlikely events will happen to them. Making the punishment greater isn't going to change anything

          • @Shacktool: Stopping something vs doing something.

            If I was about to do some parkour (which is well outside my comfort zone) I might think "hey if I fall, it could cost me quite a bit, let's not jump off this building"

            • +2

              @Davo1111: So you are telling me the fear of becoming a cripple is less than the fear of a $20k medical bill?

              • @Shacktool: I think both are fears. I'd think twice if a 20k medical bill was in my future

        • +2

          Then aren't you delusional person? Believing that people can be just more healthy because circumstances out of people's control never happens.

          • +2

            @Clear: No I'm talking about the "/s" tag, not what the comment was about. No quicker way to ruin a perfectly good joke.

  • +4
    • GPs that were bulk billing are now moving to full fee or mixed billing.

    I've found that most GPs/Medical centres that I've been to, where they've introduced full fees, still offer bulk-bill students and the unemployed, disabled, etc. I think it's a good thing so that those that can least afford it still have access to healthcare.

    • +1

      Agreed - most still bulk bill for Heath Care card holders, pensioners, DVA holders.

      Obviously at the current rate, this will require the mixed fee portion to subsidise this and eventually the cost will keep increasing or the practice may limit the #of bulk bill patients it can see per day/period.

      • Yeah the place I go to stopped taking patients and went from bulk billing any day of the week to only weekdays between 9-5 or something along those lines and only for exisiting patients.

        So it's not exactly ideal.

  • I rarely ever go to the doctor so my answer is no.

    • +20

      saving this to laugh at 40 years later.

    • +9

      Same energy as "my house never been on fire so I do not want to pay for the firies"

      This is the most bizzare and uneducated argument I have seen for medicare

      • +2

        My car never breaks down so i dont ever get it serviced

  • +35

    We need to change the attitude at workplaces that require a medical certificate for more than one day off. I know I have a cold, let me leave that GP appointment for someone who needs it and let me stay home and keep my germs away from the office without making me feel guilty.

    • +5

      Agreed, this is a very valid point.

      Luckily my workplace doesn't ask for it unless it's on the day before or after a public holiday.
      I know some places now only ask if it's multiple days or if it's a day before or after the weekend.

      • +1

        Luckily my workplace doesn't ask for it unless it's on the day before or after a public holiday.
        I know some places now only ask if it's multiple days or if it's a day before or after the weekend.

        You write this as though it's a good thing.

        Just because some people take advantage of a situation does not mean the majority should be treated the same way.
        I can't see why business managers can't work from the point of trusting their staff to act like adults until they demonstrate otherwise - then those ones can have the extra conditions applied.
        If you can't trust them from day one why did you employ someone you don't trust?

        • Blanket policies are easier to enforce re: descrimination e.c.t

          But on your other point, most people don't "know" the person they're employing, it's a risk so the trust isn't quite built yet.

          Still agree with the idea of benifit of doubt for most cases

    • +1

      You don't need to see a GP to get a medical certificate.
      They are available from pharmacies or even online.

      • +1

        True, but a Telehealth is super easy when you’re sick!

        • Ok, so you are happy to use that GP appointment (be it Telehealth or not) regardless if someone else needs it more.

          Getting a medical certificate online seems to be the best option all round.

          • @GG57: I dont know what "Getting a medical certificate online " actually is but it seems like an absolute joke - busywork.

            You either require a professional medical assessment or you trust your employees.

            • @ripprind: It's been a joke for years though.

              You can literally go up to a pharmacy, pay your $20 and tell them you've got a stomach bug and had diarrhoea. That's as hard as it gets.

              We required getting one for school, and one of the students in my class had a driving test the day before an exam (as they had an issue with people taking the day off before), so I told mate about it as they were gonna give him 0 if he didn't show up.

    • +2

      or maybe stop with the "soldier on" with a cold in the office and spreading the virus around for a start….

      • Codral have stopped using this phrase in their ads. It's a nice change, I think we're slowly moving away from it. No idea if it'll last a generation though

    • +1

      My workplace requires a medical certificate for every sick day regardless on when it occurs.

  • +1

    A lot of people are voting "Yes - to add new services (e.g Dental, dedicated mental health) & maintain full bulk billing at GPs".

    I'm on the fence. But if Dental (and maybe some other new services) were added to Medicare, would that also mean that they'd change the requirements of dodging the Medicare Levy Surcharge to also require Extras/Ancillary cover?

    How would everyone feel about that?

    • I'm not 100% against it, except I am not sure whether someone having private healthcare really saves the public that much money, especially when a lot of people use the public system anyway (due to their private health having gaps).

      I'd love for this to be properly reviewed.

      Honestly even if yearly dental checkups are covered and if you do them, then after 2 years they'll cover any (essential) dental surgery or whatever to try and encourage preventative checks.

  • +17

    I voted no. Even though I do sympathise with bulk-billing GPs for only getting paid $30-40 ($10 nett after nurses, staff, taxes) for 20 minutes of their expertise, no way I'm for paying more in income taxes (essentially what the Medicare levy is), while our government continue to piss away hundreds of billions on nuclear submarines to make Australia a nuclear target, billions on Jobkeeper for profitable companies and churches, and $25 million dollars flagpoles. Also an unspecified amount spent on the non-urgent care of other first world country citizens via Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (see thread https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/715123)

    Also why are Australia's mining profits mostly flowing to individuals like Gina Rinehart and Andrew Forrest instead of the federal government coffers? The majority of the less corrupt country Norway has Norwegian oil profits flow to the Norwegian government and their national sovereign fund, and the fact that doesn't happen in resource-rich Australia speaks to the largely hidden endemic corruption within our federal and local governments.

    The government needs to better prioritise its Budget spendings and cut out corruption and bloody well serve its Australian electorate, not increase taxes on the hardworking middle Australia. Having a national corruption commission will help, and so will prioritising things that matters to everyday Aussies such as Medicare/healthcare and aged care in the budget, and not pandering to the few political hawks wanting to spark the biggest nuclear arms race in the region in decades.

    • +2

      It's depressing how low healthcare is on the list of priorities for budget allocation.

      • +4

        Pretty sure it's second after welfare isn't it? How high do you want it to be

        • +1

          That's so true buddy, all these healthcare workers saying the money is going to the wrong pockets must have no idea what they're talking about. I'll forward them your comment

          • @peppet: It's a pretty broad category. I'm not saying a lot isn't spent on healthcare (it is) but there's definitely areas it could be prioritising better.

        • +1

          From memory (I could be wrong it was years ago) the biggest categories were Defence, Healthcare and Education.

          I was actually just surprised defence was so big, like I get it's important but I didn't think it'd be around the size of the other two.

          • +1

            @lancesta: Welfare is by far the biggest, here is a pie chart, a few years old but is good for an indicative idea.

            • +1

              @tryagain: Hey mate, I can't see any link in the post. Not sure if you forgot to add it or my mobiles just being dodgy?

              Not to preempt what you're gonna point out but a lot of people assume welfare is mostly Newstart/job seeker. I found this one that splits the categories, by far the biggest is the pension and even the family tax benifit is larger than the Job Seeker payments. Probably not gonna surprise you but definitely surprised me. This one is also a few years old.

              Definitely keen to see how welfare compares to those other categories mentioned. Maybe my view was distorted as it was a breakdown of where my income tax went that I saw, I'm not sure if that's the same as where money is spent or if they categorise it all seperately.

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