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Monday, 2 May 2016
Page: 3948


Dr HENDY (Eden-MonaroAssistant Cabinet Secretary and Assistant Minister for Finance) (12:10): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

This bill amends the Medicare Levy Act 1986toincrease the Medicare levy low-income thresholds for singles, families and seniors and pensioners in line with increases in the consumer price index. These changes will ensure that low-income households who did not pay the Medicare levy in the 2014-15 income year will generally continue to be exempt in the 2015-16 income year if their incomes have risen in line with, or by less than, the consumer price index.

In addition to providing a concession to low-income households, the Medicare levy low-income thresholds ensure that people who pay no personal income tax due to their eligibility for structural offsets—such as the low-income tax offset or the seniors and pensioners tax offset—do not incur the Medicare levy.

The changes to the thresholds mean that no Medicare levy will be payable for individual taxpayers with income under $21,335 in 2015-16—that has increased from $20,896. Single seniors and pensioners with no dependants who are eligible for the seniors and pensioners tax offset will not incur a Medicare levy liability if their income is less than $33,738 (increased from $33,044).

Couples and families who are not eligible for the seniors and pensioners tax offset will not be liable to pay the Medicare levy if their combined income is less than $36,001 (increased from $35,261). Couples and families who are eligible for the seniors and pensioners tax offset will not be liable to pay the Medicare levy if their combined income is less than $46,966 (increased from $46,000). The thresholds for couples and families go up by $3,306 for each dependent child (increased from $3,238).

The increase in thresholds will apply to the 2015-16 year and future income years.

Full details of the measure in this bill are contained in the explanatory memorandum.

I commend the bill to the House.

Debate adjourned.

Leave granted for second reading debate to resume at a later hour this day.