Mixed reaction to levy
THE Federal Government’s decision to raise an estimated $1.8 billion in flood aid money through a 0.5 per cent increase in the Medicare levy has stirred mix emotions on the Tweed.
Two-thirds of $5 billion funding to rebuild flood-ravaged areas will be delivered through savings from within the government’s budget, while the other third is to be provided through a one-year levy.
Flood victims and low-income earners will be exempt, while those earning between $50,000 and $100,000 will pay 0.5 per cent of taxable income in excess of $50,000.
A one per cent levy will apply to taxable income above $100,000.
Richmond MP Justine Elliot has been busy encouraging the community to get behind the move to rebuild flood-affected regions across Australia.
“This extraordinary disaster required an extraordinary response, and that is exactly what you are seeing from the Government,” Ms Elliot said.
“Just like our community here on the North Coast, the Government is getting in and doing what needs to be done after these devastating floods.
“People here have always helped out their mates in times of need, and the Prime Minister’s announcement is about continuing this at a national level.”
People on the street yesterday were understanding of the need to raise funds but questioned the means.
“There has been such generosity already and people have given so much,” said Tweed Heads man Dan Hogarth.
“My concern is the reaction of people in the face of the next big disaster that people will be reluctant to give because of the attitude that we’ll probably be taxed anyway.”
Murwillumbah resident Rod Nelson was not impressed that other countries would be receiving aid when Australian citizens were experiencing dire circumstances.
“We give foreign aid to things that happen overseas, and the money should be there for this sort of thing anyway,” he said.
Ms Elliot said the measures taken by the government were necessary because of the incredible scale of the disaster.