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Monday, 4 June 1984
Page: 2401

Senator ROBERTSON —Can the Minister for Veterans' Affairs explain to the Senate how he arrived at the figure he gave in his answer to Senator Chaney's question without notice on 1 June when he said that 'anything up to about 5 per cent of the service pensioners will be affected by the assets test'?

Senator GIETZELT —The answer I gave to Senator Chaney represents an estimate, and I believe it is a fairly accurate estimate, of the number of persons who will either have their pension reduced or lost entirely, depending upon whether they exceed the limits established in subsequent legislation. Outside the family home there are $100,000 in assets for a couple and $70,000 for a single person. That largely would be an estimate based upon the 350,000 persons who draw the service pension; that is, the veterans and in most cases their spouses. Whilst the figure that has been referred to in the Senate represents an estimate, we believe it will be fairly precisely met in the first year of operation, bearing in mind that it can rise subsequently because it is estimated that at least another 100,000 persons will come into the system in the next two or three years .