Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Speech in Parliament - Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2013-2014, Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 2013-2014, Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No. 1) 2013-2014 - 28 May 2013

Mr TONY SMITH (Casey) (15:30): On behalf of the opposition, it is my pleasure to indicate our support for this bill. It is, as members would be aware, a bill that comes before the parliament after each budget each year. As the Assistant Treasurer pointed out in his introductory remarks the day after the budget, it is important to amend the Medicare Levy Act to increase the Medicare levy low-income thresholds in line with the consumer price index. Otherwise, as he pointed out, it would be the case that those who were exempt from the Medicare levy in the previous income year without that adjustment—without that increase in line with inflation—would not continue to remain exempt. As the Assistant Treasurer is probably also aware, he and I have discussed this legislation most years when it has come in, and so when people look back at the record of the parliament in a hundred years they will think that the member for Lindsay and the member for Casey were experts in the field of the Medicare levy threshold. This has happened every year: it happened under our government. I will correct myself there: it did not happen one year, I recall, and that was when inflation was negative and there was no need for any adjustment. We support this piece of housekeeping legislation.

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