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Tuesday, 25 November 2003
Page: 22706

Ms GILLARD (2:18 PM) —My question is to the Minister for Health and Ageing and concerns eligibility for the government's new bandaid safety net. Can the minister confirm that a family with two children over the age of 16 which chooses not to estimate its income for family tax benefit purposes and instead claims the benefit at the completion of the financial year cannot access the so-called Medicare safety net for the same year in which it qualified for the family tax benefit A? Doesn't this mean that if this family had medical expenses over $500 in the year it qualified for the family tax benefit it will not be able to claim any of the safety net in that year? Minister, how simple is this so-called safety net?

Mr ABBOTT (Minister for Health and Ageing) —The answer to the honourable member's question is yes, but of course they will be able to claim the $500 threshold in the succeeding calendar year.