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Wednesday, 14 September 1983
Page: 852

Mr WILSON(2.35 a.m.) —In relation to the amendment moved by the Minister for Health (Dr Blewett), I ask the Minister why the threshold level for a married couple has not been set at twice that for a single person. Furthermore, in view of the Minister's amendment to put de facto spouses in a similar position to legally married people, I wonder whether he could explain to the Committee whether they are placed in a similar position. What for example, is the situation of the application of the end of year date to a married couple when it appears that that date is not applied to de facto spouses? It would appear that in these circumstances de facto spouses may in some instances be advantaged compared with those who are legally married, and it may be that the reverse is true. I wonder therefore whether the Minister could provide me with information on those two questions. I should like to deal with some other aspects, but I would be pleased if the Minister could provide me with that information.