Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Billions for windmills as chemo drug subsidy slashed
Take Your PickLabor shows it's priorities in cutting $40 million from chemo-therapy drug rebates to try to keep a non-existent Government surplus while 8.9 billion is heading overseas to buy wind-turbines to fund a feel-good green energy program which will raise electricity costs. This shows the desperation of Gillard to try and keep some vestige of economic credibility no matter who suffers.
The Australian Private Hospitals Association has warned that the cost of providing treatment to thousands of cancer patients could rise by up to $100 for every chemotherapy infusion as part of the decision, which will save the federal budget $40 million a year.
With medical facilities unlikely to be able to pass on the increase in prices charged by pharmacists for the drugs, they fear patients could be forced to seek treatment in an overcrowded public system if services in private centres are scaled back.
St Andrew's Toowoomba Hospital in Queensland has warned its 25-chair unit - one of the nation's largest regional centres funded from the federal government's regional cancer care program - would face increased costs of $800,000 to $1m as a result of the decision and would not be viable when the cut took effect on December 1.
Meanwhile there is plenty of money for the green carpetbaggers:
The Australian can also reveal that a new Frontier Economics analysis commissioned by Macquarie Generation has found that the renewable energy target could slash the value of coal-fired power stations by between $11.3bn and $17.3bn - potentially having a greater impact than the carbon tax, which includes industry compensation.
In a new submission to the Climate Change Authority, Macquarie Generation said that 2500 wind turbines - costing $12.7bn - will be needed to comply with a scheme that is set to blow out the amount of renewable energy in the system to about 26 per cent by 2020, from the original 20 per cent.
Of this, more than 70 per cent of the cost would be to purchase overseas-manufactured turbines, the submission says.
Because of the plunge in electricity consumption, the fixed renewable energy target of 45,000 gigawatt hours is expected to represent about 26 per cent of electricity generation from renewables by 2020. When demand was forecast to be higher, this would have represented only 20 per cent of capacity.