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Wednesday, 18 November 1959

Mr Clay y asked the Minister for Health, upon notice -

Has any recent research revealed any results which might indicate that a cure has been discovered for epilepsy?

Dr DONALD CAMERON (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) - The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: -

There is no indication that a cure has been discovered for epilepsy. However, there have been developed a number of new drugs which taken regularly and continuously in appropriate doses, greatly reduce the number of fits and in some cases prevent them entirely.

Supplementary Rent Allowance.

Mr Ward d asked the Minister for Social

Services, upon notice -

1.   Does the amount of the age and invalid pension decrease in regular steps as other income of a pensioner exceeds £3 10s. per week and the value of property exceeds £200?

2.   Is the supplementary allowance paid if the weekly income from other source is 10s. or the property value is £200, but not paid if the weekly income is 10s.1d. or the property value is £200 0s.1d.?

3.   If so, why is the method for determining eligibility for the payment of a supplementary allowance different from that adopted in the case of other Commonwealth social service payments?

Mr Roberton - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   Yes.

2.   Supplementary assistance is not paid unless an applicant qualifies in all respects.

3.   The purpose of supplementary assistance is to relieve hardship and to improve financial circumstances of pensioners, including married couples, who are required to pay rent out of one (single only) pension and who are entirely, or almost entirely, dependent on their pensions. To that end, it was decided to ignore an income up to and including 10s. per week. To that degree, supplementary assistance differs from other social service payments.

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