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Monday, 24 June 1996
Page: 2549

Ms JEANES —My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. Has the Prime Minister seen reports in recent days that the government may alter the method for calculating pensions in Australia? Are these reports accurate? What action is the government taking to ensure that those most in need, including many pensioners in my electorate, continue to have genuine assistance?

Mr HOWARD —The answer to the first part of the honourable member's question is yes. Could I also take this opportunity to inform her and the Australian public that the commitments made by the coalition in relation to the maintenance of indexation arrange ments, the commitments made in relation to the benchmark before the election, will be adhered to in full by the Howard government.

There will be no mucking around with pension levels. There will be no taking away of the social security safety net. I want to say to the Australian Labor Party: if you imagine for a moment that you are going to get some kind of political mileage out of any punitive destruction of the social security safety net by the new coalition government, you are absolutely 100 per cent dead wrong.