Nov 6 , 2013
The announcement by the Treasurer, Joe Hockey, to scrap plans to introduce a $2000 cap on tax deductibility of education expenses has been welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.
The National President of PSA, Grant Kardachi, said the decision recognised the importance of continuing professional education and also the challenges that many people faced in meeting mandatory levels of annual continuing education.
“PSA fought hard to have this plan scrapped and our concerns, along with the concerns of other professional organisations, have been recognised and acted upon,” Mr Kardachi said.
“The Government must provide incentives and support for pharmacists and other professionals to undertake educational activities to further expand their knowledge and provide better healthcare for the public we serve, rather than impose barriers to further education.
“For the pharmacy profession, as with other professions in rural and remote settings, there are difficulties for pharmacists attending educational events.
“This would have severely disadvantaged pharmacists who are serving a critical health need in often difficult circumstances.
“For these pharmacists $2000 would not even pay for an airfare and accommodation to attend one professional education event in a major population centre, let alone pay for journal subscriptions and other education activities.
“Women would also have been particularly hard hit in the pharmacy profession as many work part time but still need to meet the annual mandatory continuing professional educational requirements to gain registration and to practise as pharmacists. About two thirds of the pharmacy workforce are women, often with young families and working part time.”
Mr Kardachi said the decision to scrap the plans was recognition that in effect it would have been an unfair tax on a captive group of professionals who must by law complete continuing education to maintain their professional registration.
PSA was a member of the Scrap the Cap Alliance, which had more than 60 member organisations covering more than 1.6 million professionals, including universities, pharmacists, nurses, engineers, accountants, lawyers, veterinarians, doctors, allied health professionals, and small business operators.