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Monday, 15 June 2009
Page: 3020

Senator SHERRY (Assistant Treasurer) (12:45 PM) —I thank members of the Senate who have taken part in the debate on the Tax Laws Amendment (Medicare Levy and Medicare Levy Surcharge) Bill 2009. This bill increases the Medicare levy low-income thresholds for individuals and families in line with increases in the consumer price index. The low-income thresholds in the Medicare levy surcharge provisions are similarly increased. These changes ensure that low-income individuals and families will continue to be exempt from the Medicare levy or surcharge. The Medicare levy low-income threshold for pensioners below pension age is also increased to ensure that where these pensioners do not have a tax liability they will not have a Medicare levy liability. Those on low incomes are amongst the most vulnerable Australians, particularly amidst this global recession, and the Rudd Labor government is determined to make sure these Australians remain exempt from the Medicare levy. The amendments to the Medicare levy low-income thresholds apply to the 2008-09 year of income and later years of income. Full details of the measures in the bill are contained in the explanatory memorandum. Again, I thank those who participated in the debate and commend this bill to the Senate.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.