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Wednesday, 19 March 1997
Page: 2438

Mr LEE —My question is addressed to the Minister for Health. When asked about the secret budget submission, does he recall saying, firstly, that he had not seen the document and, secondly, that he could not recall seeing the document? I ask the minister, firstly, does he stand by these statements; secondly, when did his office first receive the document; and, finally, if he has had time to read the document, will he today give the House an assurance that the income threshold for the higher Medicare levy surcharge will not be reduced, as proposed in this document, to force middle income earners to take out private health insurance?

Dr WOOLDRIDGE —Mr Speaker, as you would expect, after I gave those answers in question time last time, I went back to my office and checked the accuracy of my comments, and my comments were entirely accurate. Everything I said in question time was correct.

Mr Lee —When did it arrive in your office?

Mr SPEAKER —The member for Dobell has asked his question.

Dr WOOLDRIDGE —As to whether or not I can give any sort of guarantee, I just have to say: wait til the budget, which will be delivered on 13 May. But as to any proposed reduction, which is pure speculation, I would say that someone on an income of $95,000 a year is not actually a middle income earner—it may be for the Labor Party, but it is not for the people I represent.