Sunday Territorian 5 May 2019
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SUNDAY MAY 5 2019 NEWS 15 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA A $900 plus tax penalty to force the rich to buy private health insurance is now hitting those on middle incomes. Worse still, a News Corp investigation has found the 1-1.5 per cent Medicare Levy Surcharge no longer works be Scott Morrison holds baby Georgie Picture: MICK TSIKAS/AAP COLIN BRINSDEN SCOTT Morrison, who once wielded a lump of coal during a parliamentary question time, says performing stunts isnt how you run a country. The prime minister has dismissed suggestions he had a Mark Latham moment during feisty exchange with Bill Shorten during the second leaders debate. The Labor leader accused the prime minister of being a space invader during a heated discussion over the oppositions tax proposals during Fridays debate, when the two got too close for Mr Shortens comfort. Former Labor leader Mark Latham, now NSW state leader for One Nation, infamously loomed over John Howard and gave him a vice-like handshake during the 2004 elec PM denies having his own Latham moment tion campaign. Bill Shorten doesnt like it when you look him in the eye and ask him to tell you the truth, Mr Morrison told reporters in Brisbane yesterday when quizzed on whether he had had his own Mark Latham moment. I was simply trying encourage him to tell the truth and to look me in the eye and tell me the truth and he couldnt do that either. He scurried away. Asked whether he would you have done things differently, Mr Morrison said: You know, wise cracks and stunts isnt how you run a country. Im happy for Bill Shorten to put on a cabaret performance in a debate but thats not how you run a country and thats not what Australians want to see, he said. Candidate in hot water THE Liberal party is facing another challenge to its election team as questions emerged about whether Canberra candidate Mina Zaki had properly renounced her Afghan citizenship. According to The Guardian, Ms Zaki declared she had renounced her Afghan citizenship on April 16, but documents suggest an additional step is required for complete renunciation. Secret tax slug on health cause skyrocketing premiums mean its now cheaper for many people to pay the tax than join a health fund. Instead of making their products cheaper, health funds want the tax slug raised by hundreds of dollars to force more people on average earnings to buy their product. As ordinary families struggle with low wage growth and rising household bills this is a punishing tax they shouldnt have to pay. We asked both major parties to explain when they intend to raise the threshold so the tax penalty returns to its original purpose of targeting the rich. The secret tax slug works a little like bracket creep in the tax system. As inflation rises and wages grow, people are pushed over the income threshold at which the tax penalty applies. And that threshold is now so low its hitting earnings of $90,000 the average wage for men and average combined family salaries of $180K. Singles who earn more than $90,000 a year have to pay a tax penalty starting at $900 a year if they dont have health insurance. Families who earn over $180,000 a year have to pay a penalty that starts at $1800. The cheapest basic health fund policies offered by Medibank and Bupa for singles earning over $90,000 a year cost $1119 and $1099 and for families $1906.80 and $2027. Australian Taxation Office statistics show in 2016 nearly 196,000 Australians were hit by the surcharge. SUE DUNLEVY
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