“Today’s attempt to distract from his ongoing failure to make Rapid Antigen Tests free and accessible for all Australians proves that Prime Minister Scott Morrison still doesn’t get it and again highlights that, when it comes to the pandemic, the Morrison Government’s ‘too little, too late’ approach means Australians will continue to suffer the consequences.

According to this morning’s media reports, Mr Morrison is planning to divide the nation by giving a small number of Australians limited access to the health care they need, while everyone else is left to fend for themselves. This does nothing to help small businesses and those that work for them keep their workplaces safe and open.  

“Medicare means access to health care isn’t dictated by your income or postcode. Scott Morrison’s attempt to undermine Medicare and pivot to a “user pays” pandemic response shows he is out of touch and isn’t listening to working Australians who are scrambling to find Rapid Antigen Tests and struggling to afford them. By continuing to pursue his “user pays” agenda, Mr Morrison is channeling the political ghost of Tony Abbott and his hated GP tax. 

“The Prime Minister’s offer to give a small number of Australians a handout to buy themselves a handful of Rapid Antigen Tests is a cruel hoax. If Mr Morrison had been to a chemist or a supermarket like a regular worker recently, he would know that Rapid Antigen Tests have all but disappeared from the shelves. A retailer can’t sell you something they don’t have, even if you had all the money in the world.

“The cost of Rapid Antigen Tests is skyrocketing astronomically. These prices might be affordable on the Prime Minister’s salary, but they are out of reach for working people. Mr Morrison’s hoax of a handout simply won’t go far enough.

“Working people have already lost enough shifts and missed out on too many hours because of the Covid pandemic. Family budgets are stretched to the limit. Workers can’t afford to lose more time traveling all over town to collect Rapid Antigen Tests. The Government needs to get the tests to them, not the other way around.

“The Prime Minister was warned by many, including unions and business, months ago, that Rapid Antigen Tests needed to be made free and accessible for workers and small business – he must now show leadership during this time of national crisis and answer the call.

“Scott Morrison must make Rapid Antigen Tests free and accessible for all Australians, and he must do it now. Nothing else will cut it”