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Thursday, 30 May 1996
Page: 1373


Senator KEMP (Manager of Government Business in the Senate) —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

That the order of the Senate of 29 November 1994, relating to the consideration of legislation, not apply to the following bills:

Medicare Levy Amendment Bill 1996

Income Tax Assessment Amendment Bill 1996.

I also table the statements of reasons justifying the need for these bills to be considered during this sittings. I seek leave to have the statements incorporated in Hansard .

Leave granted.

The statements read as follows—

STATEMENT OF REASONS—FOR INTRODUCTION AND PASSAGE OF THE MEDICARE LEVY AMENDMENT BILL 1996 IN THE CURRENT SITTINGS

Name of proposed Bill: Medicare Levy Amendment Bill 1996.

Purpose of the proposed Bill: The purpose of the Bill is to:

.   increase the rate of the Medicare levy, from 1.5% to 1.7%, for the 1996-97 financial year; and

.   make members of the Defence Force liable to a proportion of the full Medicare levy, equivalent to a rate of 0.2%, for the 1996-97 financial year.

These changes will raise revenue in connection with an agreed scheme between the Commonwealth and the States and Territories, to fund the payment of compensation for guns surrendered under a scheme to remove certain firearms from our community.

Reasons for urgency: These measures apply from 1 July 1996. Introduction and passage in these sittings will make it possible for amendments to the regulations governing tax instalment deductions to be made before that date. The amended regulations will increase the rate of tax instalment deductions to take account of the increased levy. In addition, passage by 1 July 1996 will give the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) greater certainty, which will facilitate the implementation of the increased rates before the beginning of the new financial year.

Result if bill not dealt with in these sittings: If the amendments to the regulations are not in place by 1 July 1996, employers will not be able to incorporate the increased levy in tax instalment deductions from that date, so that most employees will not begin to "pay" the levy until some time after the beginning of the financial year. The ATO will not be able to issue adjusted Schedules to employers showing the increased rates of tax instalment deductions until the regulations are made, and it will be more difficult for the ATO to make the necessary adjustments to other areas of its operations and its computer systems by 1 July 1996.

This statement is circulated with the Authority of the Treasurer.

STATEMENT OF REASONS—FOR INTRODUCTION AND PASSAGE OF THE INCOME TAX ASSESSMENT AMENDMENT BILL 1996 IN THE CURRENT SITTINGS

Name of proposed Bill: Income Tax Assessment Amendment Bill 1996.

Purpose of the proposed Bill: The Income Tax Assessment Amendment Bill 1996 will, make consequential amendments to the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 to allow the payment of a proportion of the Medicare levy by members of the Defence Force, and certain relatives and associates of members of the Defence Force. The amendments are related to the measures introduced in the Medicare Levy Amendment Bill 1996.

Reasons for urgency: These measures apply from 1 July 1996, and are related to the Medicare Levy Amendment Bill 1996, for which introduction and passage is also being sought in these sittings, because it will make it possible for amendments to the regulations governing tax instalment deductions to be made before that date. The amended regulations will increase the rate of tax instalment deductions to take account of the increased levy, both for ordinary levy payers and for Defence Force personnel. In addition, passage by 1 July 1996 will give the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) greater certainty, which will facilitate the implementation of the increased rates before the beginning of the new financial year.

Result if bill not dealt with in these sittings: If the amendments to the regulations are not in place by 1 July 1996, employers will not be able to incorporate the increased levy in tax instalment deductions from that date, so that most employees will not begin to "pay" the levy until some time after the beginning of the financial year. The ATO will not be able to issue adjusted Schedules to employers showing the increased rates of tax instalment deductions until the regulations are made, and it will be more difficult for the ATO to make the necessary adjustments to other areas of its operations and its computer systems by 1 July 1996.

This statement is circulated with the Authority of the Treasurer.