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One more fib about Medicare levy.



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MEDIA RELEASE

Senator Sue Boyce Liberal - Queensland

Electorate Office: Level 9, 301 Coronation Drive, Milton, Qld

Telephone: (07) 3510 3100 Facsimile: (07) 3510 3111

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 06 JUNE 2008

ONE MORE FIB ABOUT MEDICARE LEVY

Ideology, not economic or common sense, was the only driver for Labor's changes to the Medicare Levy Surcharge threshold, Senator Sue Boyce, Liberal Senator for Queensland, said today.

Senator Jan McLucas, Labor's Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, told Senate Estimates this week that changes to the MLS threshold would restore the "original intention" of the legislation, Senator Boyce said.

Senator McLucas told Estimates that increasing the MLS income threshold from $50,000 to $100,000 for singles would mean 8 to 9% of singles would be affected as was intended in 1997.

"This is complete nonsense. The ATO forecasts that only 4.5% of singles will earn more than $100,000 in 07/08. Even if the threshold income was set at $80,000, just over 7% would be covered, still less than Senator McLucas' alleged target.

"The Government could have chosen to index the MLS from the $50,000 originally set in 1997 which would have taken the single income threshold to about $74,000, not the $100,000.

"The Rudd Government didn't consult the States about the number of patients their change would push into the public hospital system. Treasury has admitted its modelling underestimated the numbers who would be affected. Now we have misleading figures being used about the government's intention.

"It's all part of an ideological con job to weaken the private health insurance system dressed up as concern for taxpayers," Senator Boyce said.

Media contact: Yasmin Khan on 0419 025 510 or (07) 3510 3100