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Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Page: 2796


Senator CORMANN (Western Australia) (10:18): The coalition supports the Tax Laws Amendment (Medicare Levy and Medicare Levy Surcharge) Bill 2011. This bill increases the Medicare levy and the Medicare levy surcharge low-income thresholds for individuals and families in line with increases in the consumer price index. Similar bills have been introduced by the previous coalition government and the current government in every year since 1996-97. The bill amends the Medicare Levy Act 1986 to increase the Medicare levy low-income thresholds for individuals and families. The dependent child student component of the family threshold will also be increased. These increases are in line with movements in the consumer price index. The bill also increases the Medicare levy low-income threshold for pensioners below aged pension age so that they do not have a Medicare levy liability where they do not have an income tax liability.

The bill further amends the A New Tax System (Medicare Levy Surcharge-Fringe Benefits) Act 1999 to increase the Medicare levy surcharge low-income threshold in line with movements in the consumer price index. The provisions maintain the thresholds for low-income earners, and not to provide this indexation would, in effect, be a tax increase for low-income earners and pensioners. As such, the coalition supports these changes.