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Originally posted by tmphgt at 2006-10-8 19:01
What about taxes?
We have 4 rates (well, the first rate doesn't really count):
- 0% on your personal allowance (around £5000)
- 10% on the next £2150.
- 22% on the remainder up to £33,000.
- 40% on the rest ...
Our new tax rates from July 1st 2006 (Australian dollars)
0- to $6000 0%
$25001 - $75000 30%
$75001 - $150000 40%
$150001 - 45%
Plus there is a 1.5% "Medicare" levy. Doctor's visits involve no out of pocket expense if the Doctor "bulk bills" the government at 85% of the "scheduled fee" rate, or will cost the user 15% of the normal fee if not bulk billed.
Doctors are able to charge above the scheduled fee, in which case the patient pays the full fee, and can claim back 85% of the "scheduled fee".
Private health insurance is encouraged (with tax breaks/penalties) for hospital treatment, dental and optical cover. Public hospitals are free, however waiting lists for elective surgery can be very very long.
Prescription medicine is subsidised. For example the anti inflammatory Celebrex is about A$1.00 per capsule (200mg). This is half the initial unsubsidised price when it was first released in Australia.
Our GST (VAT) rate is 10% and this money (although a Federal tax) is shared between the state governments. GST is charged on all goods and services except medicines and uncooked/prepared food items. (Hamburgers are taxed, uncooked hamburger meat is not)
Further costs of living examples.
My Electricity bill is about $250 to $350 per quarter depending on whether I've been doing some welding, or using my editing computer a lot.
Gas bill is about $300 per quarter year in the cooler months, and around $200 over summer.
Water bill is about $100 per quarter.
City council rates (garbage collection etc) is about $900 per annum.
Home phone bill (single line with 3 numbers using distinctive ring) is about $150 per quarter. (I make few landline calls)
Mobile bill between $60 and $100 per month.
Broadband (ADSL) is $50 per month and about to go up to $60, that's for 1500 kbps downstream, 256K upstream.
I don't have pay TV, but it costs from about $40 per month.
Car registration and compulsory "third party" insurance is about $600 per year. My normal collision/theft insurance (for a new $50K vehicle) is about $800 per year.
Our traffic accident scheme in Victoria is pretty good. Unfortunately my sister in law had a pretty nasty traffic accident recently. Although her injuries were fortunately not particularly life threatening she was flown from the crash site to hospital by helicopter, spent a couple of weeks in the traffic trauma ward (which is headed by a world renowned German surgeon), then a week in a physio-therapy hospital. Total cost to her, not one red cent. She will also get income support for the time she is off work. All this is paid for by our car registration fees and the scheme is actually making money for the state government.
The caveat is that this insurance is only available when the car is registered and if you are the driver and your blood alcohol level is above the legal limit, then you're not covered!
Hope this helps with your comparisons.