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Thursday, 27 May 1993
Page: 1475


Senator NEWMAN —My question is directed to the Minister for Health. Given that the Government has publicly ruled out the reintroduction of co-payments for medical care, can he also unequivocally state that the rise in the Medicare levy on 1 July will be the last such increase during the term of this Parliament?


Senator RICHARDSON —I have indicated that there are no plans whatsoever for either the reintroduction of a co-payment or a rise in the Medicare levy and I stand by that. I have no plans to recommend them whatsoever, no other Minister in the Government has recommended them and no Finance plans have been put to me to recommend either. As far as I am concerned, they are not currently on the agenda and I do not expect them to be.


Senator NEWMAN —Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. Will the Minister unequivocally state that this rise on 1 July will be the last in the life of this Parliament? Will he categorically deny that this Government will introduce an extra Medicare levy in the life of this Parliament?


Senator RICHARDSON —All I can say is that I have no plans to do it. That is the only thing within my power to say. I have said it repeatedly and I say it again now.