The federal government’s carbon tax is costing Maitland and Singleton hospitals more than $466,000 a year federal opposition spokesman for regional health Andrew Laming said.
Dr Laming said NSW government figures showed Maitland Hospital was forced to pay $379,000 a year and Singleton Hospital at least $86,000.
“The carbon tax should not be applied to hospitals and healthcare,” he said.
“This is a significant amount of money that only two of the Hunter’s hospitals are having to pay and its not acceptable.”
Nationals candidate for Hunter Michael Johnsen said hospitals should be exempt from the tax and that the money should be spent on upgrading facilities instead of being pocketed by the federal government.
“In addition to risking jobs and increasing the costs of living, it is unacceptable to local communities that the carbon tax will also jeopardise essential health services,” Mr Johnsen said.
“That money could be used to improve facilities at the hospital for the patients, but instead it is being used to pay for the government’s spending spree.”
Mr Johnsen said the Coalition would scrap the carbon tax immediately if elected.
He said the carbon tax was not only putting pressure on businesses and hospitals, it was also forcing families onto the poverty line as they struggled with increased electricity prices and the rising cost of living.
A Hunter New England Health spokeswoman could not verify Dr Laming’s figures last night.