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Thursday, 24 March 1994
Page: 2181

Senator HARRADINE (12.17 p.m.) —Is not the Senate going to be favoured with a reason by the Minister for Social Security (Senator Crowley) as to why the House of Representatives has refused the requests that have been made to it in respect of this matter? Surely it is courteous for that to be done, because this is a matter of great importance to many people. This Senate was trying to ensure that families who are already in receipt of the dependent spouse rebate are not going to be disadvantaged by this bill. For those families it is going to be a considerable loss. In many of them the worker is going to lose $27.15 a week. Senator Crowley and the Labor government are saying, `That does not matter. We will not even give any explanation of why these workers will lose $27.15 a week—no explanation at all'.

  I am sorry; it is not $27.15, it is the difference between the with-child dependent spouse rebate and the without-child dependent spouse rebate. The minister has not indicated why the government has chosen to reduce the amount for these particular families, and I think that is disgraceful. I think it is very important that the minister gets up and tells the chamber why this government has taken that particular decision.

  For example, regarding a family which currently is entitled to the with-child dependent spouse rebate, where the child has reached the age of 16, why is that family going to have that amount of money taken away? The minister has simply got up and moved a motion of rejection. I think we are entitled to hear the reason, and other people are entitled to hear it. (Quorum formed)