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Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Page: 9862


Mr COMBET (CharltonMinister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency) (13:07): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Clean Energy (Tax Laws Amendments) Bill 2011 contains consequential amendments to offsets and levies in the personal tax system to ensure nobody pays more tax as a result of the amendments contained in the Clean Energy (Income Tax Rates Amendments) Bill 2011.

This bill is part of a package implementing the carbon-pricing mechanism and related reforms.

The Clean Energy (Tax Laws Amendments) Bill 2011 is required to cash out assistance currently provided by the low-income tax offset into direct assistance through the statutory tax scales.

This delivers assistance in a simpler, more transparent and timely way.

From 1 July 2012, $1,050 of assistance will be shifted from the low-income tax offset into the tax scales. A further $145 will be delivered through the tax scales instead of the offset from 1 July 2015.

This bill will roll the pensioner tax offset into the more generous senior Australians tax offset to create the new seniors and pensioners tax offset.

This bill will also increase the Medicare levy low-income thresholds and phase-in limits to ensure that people are not required to pay the Medicare levy before they have a tax liability.

The low-income threshold for a single individual with no dependants will increase from $18,839 to $20,542.

A single individual with no dependants who is in receipt of the new seniors and pensioners tax offset will have a low-income threshold of $32,279.

Full details of these amendments are contained in the explanatory memorandum. I commend the bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.