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Monday, 20 May 1985
Page: 2204


Senator GRIMES (Minister for Community Services)(10.19) —We are not dealing with the Forward Estimates tonight; we are dealing with the additional appropriations. When I was Minister for Social Security-I have not spoken to Mr Howe about this matter recently-we had a continuing investigation into whether the 85 per cent invalidity provision was an appropriate yardstick to use for the measurement of invalid pensions.


Senator Peter Baume —Does the law provide that?


Senator GRIMES —Yes, the law provides that. If we have to change it, we have to change the law and I am not resiling from that for one minute. Although it is nothing to do with what we are discussing tonight, I understand that the Additional Estimates are based on the existing law and the existing regulations-as they have to be. I cannot recall how much the increase is in the Forward Estimates. All I know is that every year I have been a member of this Parliament invalid pensions have increased inexorably. That is one of the things all governments have to look at. I dare say that that sort of estimate has been built into the Forward Estimates. However, that is a guess. We are not talking about the Forward Estimates tonight. I do not have them with me.