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Tuesday, 24 May 2011
Page: 4452


Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (19:09): The Tax Laws Amendment (Medicare Levy and Medicare Levy Surcharge) Bill 2011 is a housekeeping bill which comes before the House each year. As the Assistant Treasurer outlined when he introduced this bill just last week, this increases the thresholds in line with the increase in the consumer price index. So in that sense, it is a housekeeping bill. The Assistant Treasurer pointed out in his second reading speech that historically this bill has received bipartisan support. It is my happy duty to report to my honourable friends opposite that that remains the case. Throughout our period in government we put this bill with the budget bills, as the Parliamentary Secretary, my friend the member for Blair will know. It is a housekeeping bill to ensure that those thresholds are adjusted for the annual increase in the cost of living. If my memory for these things serves me correctly I know that not everyone will be interested in this but the member for Blair is interested in the detail of these things.

I think the House and the Senate have passed this legislation every year since the introduction of the relevant levies, with the exception of one year, in the early 1990s, when it was not required because inflation was negative. That stuck in my mind because I have been talking on this bill each year. On behalf of the opposition I commend the bill to the House. I thank the parliamentary secretary for thanking me in advance for my contribution and the member for Blair, who I know will speak next and who, no doubt, will be here at the same time next year speaking on the same bill.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Murphy ): I thank the member for Casey for apprising me of the history of this legislation.