Increasing GST

WHETHER we like it or not, the GST has to be raised to 15 per cent sooner or later. I consider the sooner the better. When the government has to resort to cutting pensions as an economic measure it is pretty pathetic. A rise in the GST was foreshadowed at the Aged Care Conference in Hobart to support a rapidly ageing population. We have to get the money from somewhere. All the states need to bite the bullet. We would all moan at first, but we would soon get used to it like we did for $1 stamps for tortoise mail and $1.50 for snail mail.

Malcolm Scott, Newstead.

Cough and cold medicine

AUSTRALIAN parents are spending about $67 million on cough and cold medicines that are known to be ineffective and in some cases harmful. The Australian Child Health Poll found that a third of children under six are being given cough and cold medicine even though they are not recommended for this age group. What’s particularly disturbing is that among parents who are giving these products to their young children, 74 per cent said they were told to do so on the advice of a pharmacist, and 64 per cent on the advice of a doctor. Parents of young children who are advised to use an over-the-counter medicine should challenge the advice. We also found that an estimated $74 million a year is being spent on vitamins and supplements even though there’s no proven health benefits for children on a normal diet and with no nutritional deficiencies.

Dr Anthea Rhodes, Director, Australian Child Health.

Road blackspots

TWENTY-NINE of the state’s notorious roads will be upgraded after $4.2 million federal funding was announced on Friday (The Examiner, August 27). You mean to say there are 29 (or more) notorious roads in Tasmania? Why have previous governments allowed this to happen? If previous governments had attended to them earlier, it wouldn’t be so expensive to upgrade them now. The road toll would be less, so many lives wouldn’t be shattered and the roads wouldn’t be known as notorious.

A.R. Trounson, Needles.

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