ACOSS calls for scrap of private health rebate

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ACOSS calls for scrap of private health rebateThe Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) has urged the treasury to scrap the rebate for private health insurance and halt use of private trusts as tax dodges. The plan presented by ACOSS would further include a saving of $12 billion for the budget per annum.

The plan proposes the removal of tax exemptions that are “no longer fit for purpose”, suggesting a reinvestment of 50 per cent of savings into community benefits for public health, along with support for the unemployed and a push for affordable housing programs.

ACOSS’ plan comes ahead of the Turnbull government’s preparations for tax reform ahead of the budget for the coming election year.

Key to the reformatory plan would be an end to the 30 per cent rebate for private health insurance, generating a saving of $3.3 billion per annum.

Dr Cassandra Goldie, chief executive at ACOSS, felt the rebate had not lived up to its promises to decrease pressure on public healthcare by encouraging the pick-up of private health insurance.

ACOSS is seeking an end to tax concessions for housing investors, a more balanced superannuation fund tax rate, and elimination of tax dodging through family trusts.

“Tax avoidance through private trusts and companies has been overlooked in the debate so far,” Dr Goldie told the Herald Sun.

“It is too easy for people with higher incomes to shelter their income through trusts or private companies where it’s taxed at a flat rate of 30 per cent.”

ACOSS hopes these new cuts to health insurance would see a reinvestment of half the $3.3 billion into community services and public hospitals in an attempt to bolster dental health care and failing preventative services.

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