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Thursday, 7 July 2011
Page: 7983


Ms ROXON (GellibrandMinister for Health and Ageing) (10:08): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Fairer Private Health Insurance Incentives (Medicare Levy Surcharge—Fringe Benefits) Bill 2011 will amend the A New Tax System (Medicare Levy Surcharge—Fringe Benefits) Act 1999 to give effect to the budget measure to introduce three new private health insurance incentive tiers.

This bill will commence concurrently with the commencement of the Fairer Private Health Insurance Incentives Act 2011.

Like the previous two bills that I have just introduced, this bill was previously twice introduced into the House of Represent­atives, where it was passed, and twice introduced into the Senate, where a motion that it be read a second time was defeated. This bill is again being introduced into the House of Representatives to give effect to the budget measure to introduce the private health insurance incentive tiers that will make the private health insurance rebate fairer.

The A New Tax System (Medicare Levy Surcharge—Fringe Benefits) Act 1999 determines whether an individual is liable to pay the Medicare levy surcharge in respect of a reportable fringe benefits total they or their spouse may have. The individual’s income for surcharge purposes determines whether a person must pay the surcharge. If the individual’s income exceeds prescribed income thresholds they will need to pay the appropriate level of surcharge.

This bill inserts the new tier system in order to determine which level of surcharge a person must pay where they do not hold appropriate private health insurance and, similarly to the previous bill, is an important part of this package to reform the private health insurance system.

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.