Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 6 December 1973
Page: 2539


Senator DONALD CAMERON (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Labour) - I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Social Security. Is it a fact that average male weekly earnings for the quarter ending December 1972 were $104.10 a week and that average male weekly earnings for the quarter ending June 1973 increased to $107.70 a week? Does the Minister agree that the standard rate of pension was $20 a week in December last year, representing 19.2 per cent of the average male weekly earnings for that period, whereas the current standard rate of pension, at $23 a week, is 21.3 per cent of the average male weekly earnings for the June quarter of this year? Is the Minister confident that the Government will fulfil an election promise to increase the standard rate of pension to 25 per cent of average weekly earnings during the term of this Government?


The PRESIDENT - Order! Does the Minister representing the Minister for Social Security carry all these statistics in his head?


Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Mr President,in answer to the question of the honourable senator and your question, I admit that I do not carry these statistics in my head. But I know that Senator Cameron has shown a tremendous amount of interest in this field. I have no doubt that he has conducted a lot of research into the matter and I have no doubt that the figures that he has cited are correct. I have said over and over again, as Mr Hayden, the Minister for Social Security, has said that this Government's policy is to phase out the means test in the lifetime of the Parliament, assuming that the Parliament runs for 3 years, of course, and to increase pension rates until they are equal to at least 25 per cent of the average weekly male earnings. Bearing in mind the 2 increases of $1.50 a week that the Government has already made to pensions- incidentally, the first one was backdated to February from the first pension payment date after the holding of the election in December of last year- I would think that the figures cited by Senator Cameron are correct.







Suggest corrections