Oz PM slaps levy on taxpayers to pay for 5.6 billion dollar flood bill

Melbourne, Jan 27(ANI): Australian taxpayers earning over 50,000 dollars a year will be hit with a new levy to help pay the estimated 5.6 billion dollar bill for flood devastation in the country.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that the tax would apply to Australians on above-average incomes from July and would raise 1.8 billion dollars.

The new tax will only apply in 2011-2012, and those personally affected by the floods will not pay it.

Those earning between 50,000 and 100,000 dollars a year would pay an additional 0.5 percent flood levy tax, while those earning over 100,000 dollars would pay an additional one percent tax.

"Anyone earning under 50,000 dollars will not pay the levy. In other words it is not like the Medicare levy, which for most taxpayers applies to all their income - it is like income tax rates which apply only above certain income levels," the Age quoted Gillard, as saying.

The recent floods have been described as the worst natural disaster in Australia's history, and have hit the northeastern state of Queensland particularly hard.

It claimed the lives of 35, and caused an estimated 10 billion dollar damage. (ANI)

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