Second Reading SpeechMr Dutton (Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer)
That this bill be now read a second time.
This bill increases the dependent spouse tax offset from $1,655 to $2,100 with effect from 1 July 2007. The full dependent spouse tax offset is available to a resident taxpayer who contributes to the maintenance of a resident spouse whose separate net income does not exceed $282. The rebate is reduced by $1 for every $4 by which the dependent spouse's separate net income exceeds $282. This measure will increase the separate net income at which the tax offset is completely phased out from $6,901 to $8,681.
In addition, the bill increases the Medicare levy low-income thresholds for individuals and families in line with increases in the consumer price index. The low-income threshold in the Medicare levy surcharge provisions will similarly be increased. These changes will ensure that low-income individuals and families will continue to be exempt from the Medicare levy or surcharge.
The bill will also increase the Medicare levy low-income threshold for pensioners below age pension age to ensure that where these pensioners do not have a tax liability, they will also not have a Medicare levy liability.
The amendments to the Medicare levy low-income thresholds will apply to the 2006-07 income year and later income years. I commend this bill to the House.
Debate (on motion by Mr Ripoll) adjourned.
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