Please remove GST from Remedial Massage in the 2019 budget

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There is supposed to be no GST on health services.  We therefore call on the government to remove GST from Remedial Massage and all forms of soft tissue therapy and bodywork in the budget announced for April 2, 2019

This photo demonstrates how just 12 sessions of soft tissue therapy and bodywork dramatically changed the posture and corrected the scoliosis of someone over 65.  If such treatment is not a health service, then what is it?

However, the Federal Government has already recognized the efficacy of Remedial Massage and recognized it as a health service.

In 2017 it added Remedial Massage to the services that holders of the ADF Family Health Card are entitled to.  ADF Family Health Card holders have $400 per year that they can spend in a variety of ways, including Remedial Massage, with no gap fee. By doing so, the government has recognized the health benefits of Remedial Massage and recognized it as a health service.

In 2017, the government dropped about 16 natural therapies from being eligible for health fund rebates.  Retaining Remedial Massage is in itself recognition of its efficacy and is recognition that it is a health service.

Additionally, many Remedial Massage Therapists are registered with insurance companies to provide services in Worker's Compensation cases and Motor Vehicle Accidents. 

For many people, chronic pain is their permanent companion. People in chronic pain and with problems such as fibromyalgia benefit from regular Remedial Massage. The GST on Remedial Massage inflicts further (financial) pain on the sector of the community who can least afford it.

Remedial Massage Therapists, Myotherapists, Soft Tissue Therapists and other body workers compete on a very uneven playing field.  Chiropractors and Physiotherapists, for example, do not have to pay GST.  Massage, when performed by Physiotherapists, does not attract GST.  It is time these anomalies were resolved and GST removed from Remedial Massage and other forms of body work.  All the GST is doing is holding the profession back, as many practitioners deliberately keep their earnings below the GST threshold, and that is not generating any additional tax for the government.   We, the undersigned, Remedial Massage Therapists and bodyworkers and their clients, urge the Government to remove the GST on Remedial Massage and other soft tissue therapies.