If Labor defeats Scott Morrison in the federal election, it has committed to provide all Australians with free rapid antigen tests.
The tests, according to Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers, are a matter of public safety and will be free for everyone, unlike the prime minister’s limited plan.
Free rapid antigen tests, he added, were a crucial aspect of Australians’ health, and individuals shouldn’t be compelled to opt out of one ‘because they can’t afford one.’
In relation to the testing amid the critical shortage in December, Mr Morrison famously declared, “We just can’t go about and make everything free.”
He went on to suggest that they shouldn’t be free because it would undercut businesses selling them for a profit, claiming that’that is what the private market is for.’
‘They can get them on the shelves and not have any concern that somehow a new policy will come in and tests will be handed out to anyone who wants one,’ he said.
He eventually agreed to give low-income earners, schools, and other important services five free tests.