"Macklin's millionaires" are people on the average wage
Dr Wooldridge says Labor supports no means-test on rebates to self-insured millionaires, but opposes a 30% rebate for families on $70,000 combined income.
24 November 1998
"Macklin's millionaires" are people on the average wageLabor supports no means-test on rebates to self-insured millionaires, but opposes a 30% rebate for families on $70,000 combined income
Labor's health spokesperson, Ms Jenny Macklin, has been running around the country claiming that the Government's 30% rebate for private health insurance will be a windfall for the wealthy.
As the Prime Minister said yesterday, it's almost as if Labor has created "a new species of elite Australians" called Macklin's Millionaires.
This morning, questioned by Neil Mitchell on Radio 3AW, Ms Macklin revealed that the millionaires she has complained about are actually families earning $70,000 a year. The extract reads as follows:
"MITCHELL: What's a high income?
MACKLIN: Over $70,000 for a family."
Labor has redefined 'wealthy' to include dual-income families with an income less than average weekly earnings. Male average weekly ordinary time earnings (AWOTE) is $783.60 a week, an annual income of $40,747.20. Female AWOTE is $653.90 a week, an annual income of $34,002.80.
So a dual-income family where both partners earn the average wage, with a combined income of $74,750, would be denied any assistance towards their private health insurance by Labor.
If you have a family income of $70,000 a year, Labor thinks you're OK and you can have a rebate - but if you dare get a pay rise that takes your family income to $71,000, suddenly you become wealthy and Labor would rip the benefit out of your pocket. This is not just the politics of envy, this is plain stupid.
Labor has never had any objection to the non-means tested medical expenses rebate - which is especially generous to very rich people who self-insure and make no contribution to community-rated private health care - nor to non-means tested grants to non-government schools.
Labor's non-means tested and open-ended tax deductibility for personal superannuation contributions became the principal tax lurk for highly-paid executives in the mid-1990s.
So Labor supports and defends some non-means tested benefits that go overwhelmingly to higher income earners, but not when it comes to private health.
Bill Royce, Dr Wooldridge's office, (02) 6277 7220 or 0412 137 699