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Tuesday, 22 May 2012
Page: 5036


Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (16:51): The Tax Laws Amendment (Medicare Levy and Medicare Levy Surcharge) Bill 2012 was introduced on 10 May. It is a bill that is introduced every year following the budget. It is entirely non-controversial, unless my friend on the other side has a different view. It is a bill that merely indexes the Medicare levy and Medicare levy surcharge low-income thresholds for individuals, families and pensioners. Every year this legislation is necessary to ensure that those thresholds are maintained in real dollar terms—that is, so they are not eroded by the CPI. The Assistant Treasurer introduced this bill, as I said, just a couple of weeks ago. The explanatory memorandum outlines the increases in those thresholds that are CPI linked. I will run through them very briefly. For individuals the threshold will be increased from $18,839 to $19,404. For families, the threshold will be increased from $31,789 to $32,743 and from $2,919 to $3,007 for each dependent child or student. In a similar vein, for pensioners the increase is from $30,439 to $30,451.

As I said, this is a non-controversial piece of legislation. It is required with every budget. I have had the pleasure of carrying this bill on behalf of the opposition every year we have been in opposition, I think. It is normally my friend from the other side, the member for Blair, who speaks on behalf of the government but on this occasion I notice it is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer. I commend this bill to the House.