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Health insurance rebates slashed

The Federal Government is expected shake-up to the private health industry in next week’s budget, slashing the 30 percent private health insurance rebate for middle and high income earners.

According to reports in The Australian, single people earning more than $74,000 a year and couples on more than $150,000 a year will see their insurance rebates melt away on a sliding scale; while the rebates will be cut out completely for singles earning $120,000 and couples earning $240,000.

The latest measure has been seen as another way the Rudd Government is “taking from the rich and giving to the poor.”

However, while the first round of tax cuts will take effect from July 1, the health insurance rebate will not be scaled back until July next year.

The Government will also lift penalties for well-off taxpayers who refuse to buy private insurance – boosting their Medicare levy surcharges by up to 50 percent.