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    I think it’s a bit rich (forgive the pun) doctors crying poor about professional development. Check out how much a doctor working in eg in Queensland Health gets annually for professional development. It was in the region of $23, 000 annully a few years ago. I can’t imagine other states are much different. Other health professionals get about 3 days and a few hundred dollars a year. I realise it’s not like that for GPs but still it seems fairer that doctors start to be treated like others in the community who have compulsory annual CPD.

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    mark medical

    Well yes that’s all fair enough.

    But equally affected are the medical residents earning 60k pa, doing primary surgical exams with a total cost for registration, exams, courses of approx $15,000 in year one. So many more logical ways of doing this: restricting deductions to domestic travel, or applying public sector rules (economy airfares for certain flight durations). We are in a position where people can write off rental losses against income but can’t deduct the costs of a resuscitation course. It’s just a non-sequitur to suggest that cruise conferences are a problem so virtually wiping out deductibility of education is the solution.

    As for private practitioners, how can anyone run a business when your inputs are being paid from after-tax money.

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    You’re not seriously implying that high-income citizens are outraged when their rights to rort taxpayers are infringed?

  4. 4

    mark medical

    OK a couple of points:

    Firstly, I can handle this myself due to my income and my very modest CME expenses (I go to conferences right here in Sydney and pay twenty bucks for weekend parking). This is an issue for relatively low-paid trainees who pay a quarter of their salary for training. Even Treasury have belatedly worked this out and are revising their plans.

    Now DeeB you are right. I am out of the public system myself. Their CME entitlements are, frankly, lavish. A multiple of what I spend. Mind you there are various aspects of their remuneration which are out of proportion including this, which arose because the governments refused to increase base pay (so as not to set a precedent for other unions). Note that I get zero days and no dollars per year in the private system. Which leads to the next point Pusscat-

    If I may be blunt. This is a business. If BHP set up a mine in Chile they naturally enough pay for the equipment and site visits etc out of pre-tax revenue. Hopefully they make a profit on their enterprise and then pay tax and shareholders. But my only capital is my training and my intellect. As a social democrat with a very healthy private practice (albeit one that got off the ground 22 years after finishing school!) I don’t stress out about my extraordinary income tax bills. But to get there required expensive training in some super-specialised niche areas. This is how wealth is created. Tax revenue doesn’t show up magically. It is only skills and then work that generate wealth and income that allows me to employ my employees and contribute to the community via taxation.

    To suggest that treating my business inputs as deductions to rort the taxpayer is just class envy, not a constructive way of building an affluent society. These are legitimate business deductions. Can’t you see that? I repeat, the taxation system is broken when people can deduct negative gearing expenses from unrelated income but not the costs of training. And wealthy members of society are rorting the system that way I assure you. Not to mention the fact that high-income earners received the BABY BONUS for heaven’s sake for ten years. Start with the logical changes before considering this nonsense.


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