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'Cap' deferral will allow proper consultation on education expenses

02 Aug 2013

AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, said today’s wise decision by the Government to defer the introduction of the proposed $2000 cap on work-related self-education expenses until July 2015 would allow proper informed discussion that should lead to the scrapping of the cap by the next Government.

Treasurer Chris Bowen announced the cap deferral as part of the Government’s Economic Statement.

Dr Hambleton said the AMA and the Scrap the Cap Alliance have been lobbying against the proposed cap since former Treasurer, Wayne Swan, released the ill-informed policy back in April.

“This decision is a big win for common sense ahead of the election,” Dr Hambleton said.

“The education expenses cap was a bad policy in April this year and it will still be a bad policy in July 2015 – but we now have more time to convince the next Government to scrap the cap.

“The cap would provide a significant disincentive to doctors to continue their training and education throughout their careers, with their patients and communities the ultimate losers.

“Quality medical education is expensive and the $2000 cap defied the reality faced by doctors wanting to improve and broaden their skills.

“Rural doctors and doctors in training would be the worst affected.

“Opposition to the cap is significant and growing, with many of Australia’s peak professional organisations joining the Alliance to fight the imposition of this new tax on learning.

“The Alliance met in Canberra this week and sent a strong message to the Treasurer’s advisers who attended the meeting.

“The AMA is pleased that the cap has been deferred, but we vow to continue our campaign to have this dumb policy scrapped altogether,” Dr Hambleton said.

2 August 2013

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                            Kirsty Waterford                  02 6270 5464 / 0427 209 753

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Published: 02 Aug 2013