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Tuesday, 2 October 1984
Page: 1068

(Question No. 989)

Senator Bolkus asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice, on 21 August 1984:

(1) Are taxation concessions available for chiropractic services only when they are directed by a legally qualified medical practitioner.

(2) Was this particular instruction entered in the tax guidelines prior to registration of chiropractors in the Commonwealth.

(3) Does it now not appear that the law is outdated since governments have recognised, by registration, the beneficial effects of chiropractic services.

(4) Will the Treasurer review this particular aspect of the law.

Senator Walsh —The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Yes.

(2) Yes.

(3) and (4) The general concessional rebate provided under the income tax law represents the extent to which the Government has been able to provide some form of relief in respect of the private expenditure of taxpayers. The rebate is not designed to provide relief in respect of all a taxpayer's private expenditure.

The Government has received many representations for expansion of the rebate, including its extension to include chiropractic expenses, but it has not considered it appropriate to extend it in the manner sought. One consideration has been the small number of taxpayers able to benefit from such an extension- the percentage of taxpayers qualifying for the rebate in 1984-85 is expected to be in the order of 7 per cent.