Thursday, 18 June 2020
Questions without Notice
I thank Senator Walsh for the question. There is clearly a difference between after tax and before tax. I think that would be a statement of the obvious. But it doesn't mean 'not subject to tax'.
Minister, in your media release of 20 March 2020 you state that the retention bonus for aged-care workers is a payment of up to either $800 for direct care workers or $600 for in-home-care workers after tax. However, the fact sheet on your department's website says these payments are before tax. Minister, how can both of these be correct?
As I said in my answer to Senator Walsh's primary question, it does not mean 'not subject to tax'. As I've said in this chamber on a number of occasions this week—and Senator Walsh has acknowledged in her questions a number of times herself—the commitment that this government made to aged-care workers—who I might say are the only group within the Australian economy that have received specific support through the COVID-19 circumstance, in acknowledgement of their importance to managing COVID-19 within the aged-care sector—would be up to $800 and up to $600 for those working in home care. It's very, very important to acknowledge that fact. We've always said 'up to' those numbers. In fact, it's a significant contribution to aged-care workers of up to $1,600 and up to $1,200— (Time expired)
Minister, I refer to a worksheet on the tax office website designed for high school students in years 7 to 10. Minister, using this worksheet and applying to it a residential aged-care worker working more than 30 hours per week, being paid at level 4 of the award, isn't it the case that the worker will be $260 worse off during Australia's first recession in 29 years because of your decision?
The circumstance of any individual worker and their taxation liabilities will depend on their individual circumstances. I don't pretend to be able to calculate an individual's taxation circumstances, depending on—
As I said, the individual tax circumstances of any worker, whether it's in aged care or any other industry across the country, will be determined by their individual circumstances.