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Wednesday, 14 September 1983
Page: 852

Dr BLEWETT (Minister for Health)(2.34 a.m.) —I move:

Clause 3, page 2, after proposed sub-section 251R (1), insert the following sub- section:

'' '(1A) Where, during any period, a man and a woman have lived together as husband and wife on a bona fide domestic basis although they were not legally married to each other, this Part and any Act imposing levy have effect in relation to that period as if those persons were legally married to each other and neither of them was married to any other person.''.

In the light of concerns expressed to the Government about the levy provisions not recognising de facto relationships for the purposes of the higher levy thresholds and the combined ceiling on the levy applicable to families, we have decided to move that the Income Tax Laws Amendment (Medicare Levy) Bill 1983 be amended to the effect that couples who have entered into a bona fide domestic de facto relationship would be treated in the same way for all levy purposes arising under this Bill and the associated Medicare Levy Bill 1983 as legally married couples.

Where a person is legally married but is living apart from the other party to the marriage and is in fact living in a de facto domestic relationship with another, that person will be treated for levy purposes as being married only to the person with whom he or she is living. The effect of the amendment will be that the special levy arrangements that are to apply to Defence Force personnel and repatriation and social security beneficiaries will be operative in the same way for legally married and de facto married couples. I commend this amendment to the Committee.