Aug , 2 2013
The announcement by the Government today that it will defer the $2000 cap on education expenses deductibility has been welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.
However, National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the next step was for the Government to abandon the proposal.
“Clearly the Government has listened to the groundswell of opposition to this proposal,” Mr Kardachi said.
“The Scrap the Cap grouping of more than 75 organisations representing some 1.6 million professionals has been vocal in bringing to the Government’s attention the shortfalls of this proposed policy.
“It is gratifying that the Government has realised that it is bad policy by deferring it but it must now go further and restore certainty by abandoning the proposal altogether.”
Mr Kardachi said the proposed limit would hit all professionals but especially hard hit would be rural health professionals, part-time workers in particular women, and interns.
“The proposed move would limit the ability of many pharmacists to maintain a level of expertise and knowledge that is required by law for them to continue practising,” Mr Kardachi said.
“We know pharmacists would be severely affected and a survey of our more than 18,000 of our members found two thirds have annual education outlays of more than $2000 and 80 per cent said their employers did not reimburse them for educational expenses.
“Most disturbingly, 82 per cent of respondents said a $2000 cap would cause them to decrease their educational activities, a move which could have serious consequences for the health of all Australians.”
Interns on lower wages, rural pharmacists who had to travel great distances and women working part-time would be disproportionally penalised by the cap.
“PSA recognises that the Government needs to contain costs but the cap was not a good approach. We look forward to working with the Government to ensure we have a viable and sustainable system that delivers positive outcomes for professionals and the Government alike.”