Speirs wants GP payroll tax gone

SCRAP THE TAX: Shadow Assistant Minister for Regional Development Ben Hood with practice manager Bronwyn Barker, Dr Lourelei Sabio, Leader of the Opposition David Speirs and Dr Stephan Van Eeden. (Supplied)

LEADER of the Opposition David Speirs visited the Limestone Coast once again last week.

Mr Speirs visited the Millicent Medical Clinic as well as a range of businesses across the region before settling in Mount Gambier/Berrin for a Pioneers game.

While visiting the medical clinic, Mr Speirs noted the shortage of general practitioners across regional South Australia and called on Premier Peter Malinauskas to “scrap” the general practitioner payroll tax.

Should Mr Malinauskas not scrap the tax, Mr Speirs said he and the state Liberal Party were committed to abolishing it should he be elected in 2026.

“Our entire hospital system is under enormous pressure under Labor, with a recent statewide code yellow internal emergency even seeing elective surgeries cancelled at our regional hospitals,” Mr Speirs said.

“We know the added costs of Labor’s tax grab for patients will force them into our already overwhelmed hospitals, or sick South Australians will let their illnesses deteriorate to the point where they’ll need hospital care that could have been avoided.

“Unfortunately, general practice is becoming less attractive for medical students, and we fear Labor’s tax grab is an extra deterrent that could be the nail in the coffin for many practices.”

Shadow Minister for Regional Health Services Penny Pratt, said the regions already had huge workforce challenges.

“We fear Labor’s general practitioner payroll tax grab will only exacerbate existing shortages in our health system,” Ms Pratt said.

“We have long been calling on the Malinauskas Labor Government to introduce incentives to entice doctors, nurses, and midwives to our regions – and to make sure experienced staff stay – but this move by Peter Malinauskas is a huge step backwards.”