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Wednesday, 15 March 2000
Page: 12781

To the Honourable the President and Members of the Senate assembled in Parliament:

The petition of certain citizens of Australia draws to the attention of the Senate, decisions by the Howard Government to apply a 10% goods and services tax to vitamin, mineral and herbal remedies which are listed, along with pharmaceutical medicines, on the Australian Register of Therapeutic goods.

This decision will disadvantage all Australians who use or provide alternative and complementary HealthCare products to maintain and improve their health and wellbeing, to prevent disease and to manage chronic illness. This is a new tax on those who, by taking care of their health with products and services which are not subsidised, reduce the burden on the health budget.

A tax on health is a bad tax. Your petitioners therefore pray that the Senate recognises that imposition of the HGST on therapeutic goods which are listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods is contrary to the maintenance of our good health and well-being. Our petition requests the Senate to call on the Government to zero-rate these products.

by Senator Lees (from 8,099 citizens).