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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 2322

SENATE CAMPAIGN 1970 - TV AND RADION TALK NO 1 BY THE PRIME MINISTER MR JOHN GORTON

Photo of Gorton, John

Gorton, John

Period of Service: 10/01/1968 to 10/03/1971

More information about Gorton, John on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 09/11/1970

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 2322

7. 15 PM. MONDAY 9 NOVEMBER 1970
SENATE TV AND CAMPAIGN 1970
RADIO TALK NO. 1 BY THE PRIME MIIISTER
MR_. O HN GORTON
( To be broadcast on ABC Radio 7. 15 pm E. S. T. Monday 9 November
and TV 8.30 pm local time Tuesday 10 November).
G 0
TV AND
E M A

Tonight I want to talk with you on the relative merits of our Health Scheme
and the scheme with which you are threatened by Mr. Whitlam.
For with a Certain sullen obstinacy, Mr. Whitlam is still threatening to
introduce his scheme if he can. Thbis could hurt every hIousehold in Ausotralia and
the facts about it should be known.
Further, an examination of the statements made to justify his scheme provides
a test of his credibility.
Now his first intention is to take away from you your freedom to choose which
fund you want to join. All the existing friendly societies and other closed fujids, as
well as all the open funds, would be abolished under his scheme You wiould be
compelled to deal with the single, monopolistic fund which would be the 2py fund he
would allow to operate.
He justifies this by an incorrect statement. That statement is that " the
existii. g funds squander or retain $ 1 out of every $ 4 they receive in contribut ions."
Now the independent Nimmo Committee found no support at all for the claim
that a number of different funds adds to the cost of the Health Scheme. Indeed, it
recommended that the friendly societies and closed funds should be encouraged. to
continue. And it published tables showing the cost of management of closed funds
to be, on the average, 6 cents in the dollar, not 25 cents in the dollar as-Whitlam
claims. And it showed tables showing the cost of management of open funds to be
on the average 12 * cents in the dollar not 25 cents in the dollar as Whitlam claims.
So Mr. Whitlam-s statement Is quite untrLra and you lose your freedom Of
choice for nothing.
His second intention is to make most of us pay more in contributions than we
now pay. At present tax deductible contributions . paid by an unmarried person,
insuring for medical benefits and public hospital ward treatment vary from State to
State. But in every case, in every State, Mr. Wh-itlam's threatened levy of 1-1 per cent
of an unmarried person's taxable income would cost that person more in every
case in every State.
At present the contributions paid by a married man also vary as between
States. But in this case the Labor Scheme would cost him less until his income
reached about 000. But this would only be true if his wife were not earning or in
receipt of income. For if she were she would also have to contribute 1' per cent
of her taxable income and the combined contributions would most likely cost the famili.
more., e 9 / 2

To sum up. Mr. Whitlam's Scheme
Would cost every unmarried person in Australia earning $ 50 a week and over
more It would cost every married man in Queensland more
It would cost all married men in other States more if their income exceeded
about 000.
Ik would cost many married men in other States with incomes less than
000 more if their wives were &. so receiving income.
This is described by Mr. Whitlam as a scheme which costs the citizens of Australia
less. The third intention is to alter the benefits now payable. For small payments
for V" 3itS to a general practitioner the Labor Scheme would give the contributor a
few cents more. But for minor operations it would reduce the benefits now payable
to a patient and for major operations it would reduce them very greatly.
Mr. Whitlam calls this increasing benefits.
Well, think of this and think of the credibility of the statements that have
been made to justify a scheme which in practice would cost you more and in
most cases provide you with less.

Transcript 2322