Vouchers for better schools and hospitals

David Leyonhjelm, lead candidate for the Liberal Democrats, today called for the introduction of vouchers so all Australians have the option of choosing private schools and hospitals.

“Despite the efforts of many dedicated staff, our public schools and hospitals often underperform compared to their private counterparts,” he said. “This is unacceptable for those Australians who cannot afford private schools and hospitals.

“The Liberal Democrats would introduce a means-tested schooling voucher, at a cost of $33 billion nationwide, so low-income parents and parents of children with a disability can afford better schooling than currently available to them.

“Parents who are happy with their local public school would continue to be able to send their kids there. But parents who feel their kids would be better off in a non-government school would be able to afford to send their kids there, and the voucher would follow them.

“The Liberal Democrats would also introduce a means-tested medical expenses and insurance voucher, at a cost of $48 billion nationwide, so low income and chronically ill Australians can afford better healthcare and insurance than currently available to them.

“Australians who are happy with their local public hospital would continue to be able to rely on it. But those suffering long waiting times or poor service could afford a different hospital.

The Liberal Democrats’ voucher plan is part of a fully-costed plan for the Commonwealth and the States to each deliver budget surpluses, tax cuts and cuts to government spending. This includes massive cuts to education and health bureaucracies and the introduction of user charging at public schools and hospitals.

“With vouchers for low income Australians, and with across-the-board tax cuts, every Australian would benefit from more choice. The option to go elsewhere would mean public schools and hospitals would be encouraged to improve their performance. The only losers would be the thousands of back-office bureaucrats who would be out of a job.”

David will outline his plan at the Liberal Democrats NSW campaign launch from 2pm on Sunday at the Canada Bay Club. Media welcome.

/Public Release.