Australian government refuses to raise Medicare tax

The Australian government has turned down calls for higher Medicare taxes to ease the strain on health systems across states and territories.

Australia’s Treasury Secretary Jim Chalmers said the government has acknowledged that the public health system is under pressure but has no intention of lifting the tax, either temporarily or permanently.

“It’s not something we’re looking at, but we want to work with states and territories to ensure that their health systems are adequately funded,” he told reporters in Canberra. Told.

A Medicare tax is a type of tax levied on Australian taxpayers to help fund the country’s public health system. The tax is her 2% of an individual’s taxable income and is calculated when you file your tax return.

Australian Capital Territory Prime Minister and Treasurer Andrew Burr has called for a 1% increase in Medicare tax on the top income tax bracket. He reasoned that the current funding model of the national health system is no longer sustainable.

Epoch Times photo
ACT Prime Minister Andrew Barr at the Jobs And Skills Summit in Canberra, Australia, September 1, 2022. (Martin Ollman/Getty Images)

Speaking at a revenue summit in Canberra, he said his proposal would change the Medicare tax from a flat tax to a progressive tax and could be implemented whether or not the government goes ahead with the third tier of tax cuts.

“The Medicare tax is now a built-in feature of our tax system, and we must be progressive in its application to make it more permanent and consistent with the principles of our society. No,” Barr said.

“This is an achievable tax increase,” he said.

Former Consumer Watchdog Calls for Tax Increase

Amid heated debate over the third phase of tax cuts, former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman and economist Rod Sims has called on the government to increase taxes on fossil fuels, carbon, minerals and land. seeks and funds its spending.

He said taxation is the only way to improve federal budget returns and support more spending.

“We have a lot of tax room and need to talk about the level of spending we want.” He said ABC TV.

“If we want to spend more, we can only do so through higher taxes. There is no other way.”

Sims also suggested that the government introduce a carbon tax as part of its plan to move Australia to a net-zero economy, rather than providing incentives to boost adoption of renewable and low-emission technologies. .

Speculation about government tax cuts

Federal ministers have consistently backed a third round of tax cuts, but there is speculation that the government is considering some changes that will primarily benefit high-income earners.

Treasurer Stephen Jones declined to comment on the tax cuts, but said the government is considering a number of important issues ahead of the October budget.

Addressing tax conference attendees, he said the budget was in a structural deficit and the cost of debt repayment was a burden on government finances.

“The amount we plan to spend next year to pay off the $1 trillion worth of debt we inherited will exceed the amount spent on the Pharmaceutical Benefit Plan,” he said.

At the same time, he said the October budget will focus on tackling immediate issues and delivering on key election promises.

Alfred Bui


Alfred Bui is an Australian reporter based in Melbourne, focusing on local and business news. He is a former small business owner and holds his two master’s degrees in business and business law. Please contact [email protected].