Rosalie Woodruff’s claims that the Government is planning to shift $27m from the Consolidated Fund into health is wrong and is clear evidence that the Greens just don’t understand budgets – only how to cut them and misrepresent them.

The Supplementary Appropriation Bill tabled today demonstrated how our disciplined and prudent financial management is allowing us to absorb unexpected costs and invest more in priority areas.

The figure of $27 million quoted by Ms Woodruff is the total funding, both recurrent and capital, allocated to Health and Human Services in the Bill.

This includes $13.5 million for our Affordable Housing Strategy, as well as $3.8m of capital works brought forward from next financial year, for a range of sites including the Hobart Repatriation hospital, St Mary’s Health Centre, St Johns Park and Beaconsfield Hospital, all of which have been previously announced.

Ms Woodruff should explain which of these projects she no longer supports.

The Bill also includes an allocation of $10m in 2015-16 for the Tasmanian Health Service, to address long-term structural budget pressures left behind by the previous government. Again this funding has been previously announced.

Importantly, the THS is taking steps to manage its budget pressures and is on track to deliver a significant reduction in overspends compared to recent years, as we transition from the previous regional services to a truly integrated statewide health service.

The Government announced a record $6 billion investment in health over four years in last year’s state budget.

We are continuing to invest the benefits of sound fiscal management, so that the savings we make by reducing waste, duplication and administration costs stay within the health system and free up resources to provide more services that the community needs and cannot currently access.

The health and human services funding in this Bill was fully reflected in the 2015-16 Revised Estimates Report, which confirmed that the Budget will return to surplus in 2016-17, three years ahead of the Government’s target.

The Hodgman Liberal Government is able to invest more in priority areas and absorb unexpected costs, a dividend of disciplined and prudent financial management, a foreign concept to the Greens.

Sadly, the Greens are still focussed on political opportunities rather than fixing the health system.

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