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Bulk-Billing Saved: Liberals and Nationals Force Labor to Scrap Health Tax!

Bulk billing in Wyndham
  
   

Affordable GP visits ensured as Victorian Liberals and Nationals secure reversal of Labor's controversial payroll tax on healthcare.

In a significant policy reversal, the Victorian Liberals and Nationals have successfully campaigned to keep GP visits affordable, as the Allan Labor Government announced the scrapping of its controversial Health Tax. This move comes after months of pressure from the opposition and the medical community, highlighting the detrimental impact of the tax on healthcare costs.

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Treasurer Tim Pallas announced that contractor GPs and employee GPs who provide bulk-billed consultations will now be exempt from payroll tax. This exemption marks a major shift from Labor’s previous stance, which applied payroll tax to contractor GPs in health clinics across Victoria. The Health Tax had increased the cost of visiting a doctor by nearly 30 percent, threatening the financial viability of many clinics.

The Allan Labor Government is collaborating with other Australian jurisdictions to ensure that GPs can continue to offer bulk-billed primary healthcare consultations. Following extensive consultations with the primary care sector, all Victorian general practice businesses will be exempt from any outstanding or future payroll tax assessments on payments to contractor GPs up to 30 June 2024. Additionally, a further 12-month exemption will be available through to 30 June 2025 for practices that have not yet paid payroll tax on contractor GP payments.

These exemptions are granted through the Treasurer’s existing ‘ex gratia’ powers and would be maintained under any Labor Government. To further support bulk-billing, from 1 July 2025, the Labor Government will provide a payroll tax exemption for payments to contractor and employee GPs for bulk-billed consultations.

Despite no changes to payroll tax obligations for medical businesses, the Government has been engaging with the primary care sector for over a year, acknowledging the pressures on GPs and the need for financial certainty. These changes aim to support GPs and ensure they can continue providing essential healthcare services to Victorians.

In addition to these tax reforms, the Labor Government has committed $32 million to support graduate GPs, encouraging medical students to pursue careers in general practice. This initiative seeks to address the primary care shortfall exacerbated by what Labor describes as a decade of neglect under the former Federal Liberal National Government.

This policy shift is seen as a victory for the Victorian Liberals and Nationals, who have championed the cause of affordable healthcare and bulk-billing, ensuring that Victorians can continue to access necessary medical services without undue financial burden.

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