Campbell Newman calls for an emergency meeting on the budget
QUEENSLAND Premier Campbell Newman has called for an emergency meeting of state leaders to discuss drastic cuts to health and education funding outlined in the Federal Budget.
He said he had spoken with his state and territory counterparts who all agree the cuts are unacceptable.
Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey used his budget speech on Tuesday to reveal an unprecedented $80 billion would be slashed from health and education spending over the next decade.
The announcement sparked concerns the Federal Government was attempting to put pressure on the states to agree to a GST increase.
Mr Newman said on Wednesday (May 14) he had some real concerns about the cuts to health and education.
"Well, the states are doing the very heavy lifting on this and the Commonwealth is not putting its shoulder to the wheel in this area," he said.
"You cannot just throw the health and educations issue on the states and not give them the money to deal with the problem.
"This will not go away.
"It is not going to be taken lying down and the states and territories will be pursuing this matter."
Mr Newman said he believed there was more politics at play surrounding the decision.
"Well, this whole thing seems like a wedge to get the states to ask for the GST to be raised," he said.
"Well, that is not the issue.
"The issue is that a fair share of the income tax that Queensland families pay should come back to pay for their hospitals and schools.
"The Federal Government is making the states do the heavy lifting, make the tough decisions in relation to health and education, and their doing it in a non-transparent and non-upfront way."
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was also concerned with the planned cuts to health and education announced in the budget.
"What we are going to see is a generation of young people who will not go on to further education and a generation of people who will suffer because they cannot afford to go and see a doctor," she said.
"We have seen the massive cuts here in Queensland and now we are seeing it at a federal level.
"I think everyone should be concerned, if not alarmed, at what is happening at a federal level."