Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO of the Australian Council of Social Service.   Labor has agreed to raising the rate, but only for the one-fifth of Australians earning more than $87,000. In addition it would reintroduce the so-called deficit repair levy on very high earners on more than $180,000. The position paper points to problems with both proposals, saying Labor's scheme would leave in place the same loopholes as the Coalition's' scheme. It would also create a sudden jump in tax for Australians whose income climbed above $87,000, taking an entire 0.5 per cent, sending backwards their take-home income. "The current levy and the Medicare Surcharge are complex and lack transparency," ACOSS chief executive Cassandra Goldie said before the release of the report. "People on higher incomes with smart tax advice can avoid paying their fair share through tax shelters such as salary sacrifice and negative gearing." The Medicare Levy is imposed on "taxable income", meaning tax deductions such as those associated with negative gearing can eliminate the need to pay it. The latest tax statistics show that 48 very-high-income Australians, each earning more than $1 million a year, paid no income tax or Medicare levy in 2014-15, even though some paid the more broadly calculated Medicare Levy Surcharge . The Council of Social Service wants the levy calculated on the same basis as the surcharge , making it impossible to avoid through the use of trusts or negative gearing. It also wants to phase in the levy with income, as happens with income tax. The most radical option in the paper is to combine the levy and surcharge and make them a set percentage of income tax paid.

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