Peak Professional Bodies Unite to Oppose Tax On Learning

Peak Professional Bodies Unite to Oppose Tax On Learning

Monday 8 July 2013


A wide range of peak professional bodies have joined with the Australian Medical Association to pressure the Federal Government to abandon the proposal to cap tax deductions for self-education expenses.


At an emergency meeting held in Canberra today, 22 peak professional bodies lobbied the Government to revise its ill-advised cap on self-education tax-deductions.


AMA (WA) President Dr Richard Choong has lambasted the proposed cap, stating that, “this desperate attempt by the Federal Government to save a few dollars will cost an immeasurable amount in dumbing down the health community.”


“It’s great to see so many peak bodies in the health industry come on board with us and fight the Government tooth and nail on this ludicrous proposal.”


“This is effectively a tax on learning – how can we expect the best possible healthcare in Australia when trainees and interns can’t even afford to keep their qualifications up to date?”


The cap threatens Australia’s ability to become a productive, innovative, contemporary knowledge-based economy. Nurses, doctors, dentists, engineers, veterinarians, universities, accountants, postgraduate students, architects, pharmacists, lawyers, directors and many services professionals have all come together to speak with one voice in a bid to prevent this budget measure from undermining the Australian economy and the future health and well-being of the community. The cap will discourage people from being sufficiently prepared for the high value jobs of a modern services and knowledge based economy.


Planning for a suitably educated workforce for the future is essential for any government and must ensure that teachers themselves are not discouraged from up-grading their skills and knowledge. The Australian Workforce Productivity Agency (AWPA) has warned that industry demand for those with higher education qualifications is set to soar with growth rates of between 3 and 4 per cent every year to 2025.


Professionals including doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists, pharmacists, accountants and lawyers are required to undertake continuing professional development so the public is provided with quality services.
The cap will escalate the cost of education to individuals, including the self-employed, to meet these professional obligations. If unable to be met by the individual, it will create an unaffordable impost on small business.


It will also compromise the availability of quality continuing professional development courses.


The AMA has led the push against the proposed $2,000 cap on tax deductions for self-education and has been joined in its campaign by the following:


Associations Forum
Australian Computer Society
Australian Dental Association
Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association
Australian Institute of Architects
Australian Institute of Company Directors
Australian Medical Association
Australian Nursing Federation
Australian Services Roundtable
Australian Veterinary Association
Consult Australia
Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations
CPA Australia
Engineers Australia
General Practice Registrars Australia
Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia
Law Council of Australia
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
Pharmacy Guild of Australia
Professions Australia
Rural Doctors of Australia
Universities Australia


To read the full communique issued by the 22 peak organisations, please click here


To share your story on how the cap will affect you, please click here.


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"It is my hope that we can tackle the challenges our profession faces, united as one. If we dislike our working hours, our pay, gender inequality or low training opportunities, we can change these together. As a nurse in my previous life, I know that when a profession stands as one, people listen."
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