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Tuesday, 11 September 1984
Page: 768

Senator MAGUIRE —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Health. I refer to the increase in the income exemption level for Medicare provided in the Budget. What is the new income exemption level for a couple with two children and how does it compare with the previous level? In particular, will the Minister say how many families will now no longer pay the Medicare levy as a result of the Budget changes?

Senator GRIMES —From memory, the number of families which will be excluded is another 120,000. Although Senator Maguire did warn me of the question, I am afraid that I do not have the exact figures on the increase in the Medicare levy , which just demonstrates that I, like other members of this Parliament, can lose things between my office and the chamber. Senator Walsh has just recovered the bit of paper for me, so I can say that the thresholds increased as follows: For single persons from $6,698 to $7,110; for couples and sole parents from $11, 141 to $11,803; and for each dependent child or student an additional $1,330, compared with $1,100. I hope that Dr Blewett has those figures right. The increase in the Medicare thresholds will relieve from the levy 120,000 taxpayers without dependants and some 35,000 taxpayers with dependants.