Labor will do what Liberals won’t and rule out GP payroll tax 22 February 2024

Tas Labor

A Rebecca White Labor Government will act decisively in the first 100 days by ruling out visits to the doctor becoming more expensive through a GP payroll tax – something Jeremy Rockliff’s Liberals have failed to do.

I am pleased to be joined by Royal Australian College of General Practitioners chair Toby Gardner and the Australian Medical Association’s Dr Aaron Hawkins to announce that Labor will provide a guarantee that no payroll tax will apply to a General Practitioner under our leadership.

Tasmania is one of the only states that has not acted to provide certainty to GPs, and despite the AMA and RACGP raising the payroll tax issue for over 12 months with the Liberals, they have chosen to ignore them.

The RACGP and AMA have been warning the Rockliff Liberal Government that a GP payroll tax will mean:

  • Patients will pay $15-$20 more out of pocket per consultation.
  • There will be more general practice closures.
  • There will be a decline in bulk billing across Tasmania will continue
  • There will be more pressure on hospital emergency departments as those who can’t afford to see their GP attend emergency departments for free instead.

They have simply asked the Liberals to provide a clear commitment to rule it out, which they have failed to do and left doctors in the dark.

When I wrote to Treasurer Michael Ferguson in September last year seeking this commitment from him – Mr Ferguson failed to do so, confirming the Liberals had “no plans to introduce any changes” as other states have done (letter attached). The Treasurer even noted in his letter that under the status quo, medical centres “may be liable for payroll tax”.

Labor will ensure that a ruling is provided to exempt GPs from payroll tax. Hospitals are already exempt from paying additional payroll tax for their doctors and we want an even playing field for our GPs.

In a cost of living crisis, this is a simple measure that supports our dedicated GPs and means they do not have to pass on costs to patients.

It’s time for a better future. Labor has a plan to improve healthcare and this starts by supporting our doctors.

Rebecca White MP

Tasmanian Labor Leader

Anita Dow MP

Shadow Minister for Health, Mental Health and Wellbeing

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