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Tuesday, 1 June 2010
Page: 4793

Dr EMERSON (Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors and the Service Economy, Minister Assisting the Finance Minister on Deregulation and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs) (6:04 PM) —I would like to thank those members who have taken part in the debate on the Tax Laws Amendment (Medicare Levy and Medicare Levy Surcharge) Bill 2010. This bill increases the Medicare levy low-income thresholds for individuals and families in line with increases in the consumer price index. The individual threshold amount is to be increased from $17,794 to $18,488. The level of the family income threshold is to be increased from $30,025 to $31,196.

The Medicare levy low-income threshold for pensioners below age pension age is also increased so that individuals in this cohort do not pay the Medicare levy when they do not have a tax liability. This will also ensure that these pensioners receive the full benefit of the increase in the pension announced by the government in the 2009-10 budget. The low-income threshold in the Medicare levy surcharge provisions is similarly increased. This change ensures that a low-income member of a family will continue to be exempt from the Medicare levy and Medicare levy surcharge. The amendments to the Medicare levy low-income thresholds apply to the 2009-10 year of income and later income years.

The annual adjustments to the Medicare levy and Medicare levy surcharge low-income thresholds have enjoyed bipartisan support for more than a decade. I would again like to thank those who have participated in this debate and commend the bill to the House.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.